AAP says yes after Congress says no

Aam Aadmi Party ends speculations, will participate in Bengaluru Opposition parties’ meet following Congress’s stand on Delhi ordinance

| Updated: 16 July, 2023 7:30 pm IST
AAP MP Raghav Chadha announced the party's decision after the Political Affairs Committee meeting 

NEW DELHI: Ending all speculations, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday decided that they would attend the all-Opposition party meet in Bengaluru on Monday.

The decision was announced by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha following the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting in New Delhi.

Incidentally, the decision came hours after Congress announced that it would oppose the Centre’s ordinance on control of services in Delhi.

“The Congress party today made its stand clear and said that it will oppose the Delhi ordinance. We welcome the decision… The AAP will join the joint opposition meeting in Bengaluru on July 17-18,” Chadha said.

“Many prominent political parties had opposed the Ordinance brought by the central government. This is an anti-national ordinance. Trinamool, JDU, RJD, DMK, BRS, NCP, Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPM, JMM, all these parties have already given us the support to fight against the ordinance in Parliament,” the young MP added.

The PAC meeting was held at the residence of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and was attended by top party leaders including Chadha, Gopal Rai and Atishi among others.

The meeting was called to decide whether AAP, which is one of the key cogs in the united opposition, will attend the opposition meeting in Bengaluru or not.

Earlier, the AAP had declared their intent to boycott the opposition meet if the Congress party failed to clarify its position on the ordinance. AAP leaders insisted that the Congress should at least publicly announce whether they supported or opposed the ordinance, a demand that fell on deaf ears.

ALSO READ: Yes or No: AAP’s PAC to decide participation in opposition meet

However, before the AAP PAC meeting, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal confirmed that the party will oppose the Delhi ordinance and any attempts by the Centre to intervene in states governed by opposition parties through governors.

Venugopal also stated that the Congress had made its decision during a parliamentary strategy committee meeting, adding that the party’s stand was clear: they would not support the Delhi ordinance.

“We are consistently opposing the attempts of the Union government to sabotage federalism. We are consistently opposing the attitude of the central government to run the opposition states through the governors. Our stand is very clear, we are not going to support the Delhi ordinance,” he said.

The Delhi ordinance in question aims to establish a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer and disciplinary proceedings of Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.

Before a Supreme Court verdict on May 11, the transfers and postings of all officers in the Delhi government fell under the executive control of the lieutenant governor.

Congress leader Pawan Khera reaffirmed the party’s opposition to any attempt to undermine the federal structure, citing previous instances in Tamil Nadu and Bengal. Khera emphasised that Congress would oppose the Delhi ordinance and any moves that threatened the federal structure.

The upcoming meeting in Bengaluru is intended to unite the opposition parties to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Leaders from 24 political parties are expected to attend the gathering, following a previous opposition meeting held in Patna, Bihar, on June 23.

The AAP had previously urged the Congress to clarify its position on the ordinance, which was introduced by the central government regarding the transfer and posting of group-A officers in Delhi.

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