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Dissent brews but Congress likely to stick to its decision to support AAP

Atul Mathur , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 26, 2013
First Published: 00:48 IST(26/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(26/12/2013)

Despite unease and dissenting voices within the party over extending support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for forming a government in the Capital, the Congress central leadership, for now, has decided to stick to its decision.

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Party sources said that since a letter of support has already been submitted to the L-G of Delhi, a decision to withdraw even before the government was formed would reflect badly on the party.

"We stick by our letter of support, which was sent by party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed and then Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Agarwal to the L-G," Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh said.

The cracks in the Central as well as state leadership of Congress on the issue have already started showing up with sources claiming that outgoing chief minister Sheila Dikshit and former Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Agarwal are on the same page on the matter and do not want the party to continue its support to AAP.

Several other Congress leaders in Delhi — including current and former MLAs — are divided on the issue as well.

"I feel a rethink is required (on giving support to AAP). We thought it was not proper to force another election on Delhi and that's why offered outside support to them to form the government. But party workers are really agitated," former MLA Ramakant Goswami said.

The Congress is expected to see how Arvind Kejriwal's government functions for a few days and would pull the carpet only if it felt that the new regime was being vindictive against it.

The Congress, which faced its worst electoral drubbing in the Capital and could garner only eight seats, had decided to offer unconditional support to the AAP after the BJP declined to form the government, citing lack of numbers.

Soon after the Congress gave its letter of support to the L-G, the AAP had gone public in saying it had never sought support from any party.

Given the bitterness between the two sides and fierce opposition from a section of its state unit, the Congress soon altered its position from unconditional to outside support.

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