Delhi, Punjab Congress leaders urge Kharge, Rahul not to support AAP on ordinance issue

Party high command can take a final call on the issue

INDIA-POLITICS-ECONOMY-PROTEST

Congress leaders from Delhi and Punjab met the party leadership in New Delhi on Monday and suggested not supporting the Aam Aadmi Party on the Delhi services ordinance issue, sources said.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had convened separate meetings of leaders from the two states for seeking their opinion on the matter. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also present during the meetings.

The sources said a majority of the leaders told the leadership to have no truck with Arvind Kejriwal, calling him a "B-team" of the BJP and claiming he harmed the Congress' interests not only in Delhi and Punjab but other states as well.

From the Delhi Congress, around 7-8 senior leaders attended the meeting, they said.

"All leaders clearly said the AAP shouldn't be supported in the matter of Ordinance but the final call is with the high command. However, the Delhi Congress views the matter of ordinance as a state government issue and not as an issue of any individual or as a matter of showing support to the AAP," a source in the party told PTI.

The meeting comes in the wake of Kejriwal requesting a meeting with Kharge and Gandhi to seek their support against an Ordinance brought by the Centre which effectively nullified a Supreme Court order that gave to the Delhi government the power of transferring bureaucrats in the city.

Kharge has reportedly conveyed to Kejriwal he will take a call on the matter after having a word with state party leaders. The sources said the Congress leadership will also meet party leaders from other states before deciding its position.

Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring told reporters after the meeting they have put across their views before the party high command and left the final decision to it.

"All the leaders have said the party high command will decide and we have left it to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to take the final decision," Raja Warring told reporters after the meeting.

Former party chief Navjot Sidhu said transpired during the meeting was a secret and only the Congress chief or Rahul Gandhi would divulge the details.

He, however, said India's Constitution is a sacred 'granth' and he took inspiration from it.

"But, I can say emphatically that the values of the Constitution are at its lowest ebb," he said, citing instances where the Centre "trampled upon" the Constitution.

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