Congress backs AAP's Kejriwal, says 'won't support Centre's ordinance' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Congress backs AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, says 'won't support' Centre's ordinance in Delhi

Jul 16, 2023 02:01 PM IST

The Congress on Sunday said it won't support the Centre's ordinance on control of services in Delhi.

In a big boost for the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, the Congress on Sunday said it won't support the Centre's ordinance on control of services in the national capital.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

"I think they (AAP) are going to join the meeting tomorrow. As for the ordinance (on control of services in Delhi), our stand is very clear. We are not going to support it," said Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told news agency PTI on the Opposition's meeting scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on Monday.

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The Congress on Saturday said it has always fought against the Modi government's “assaults” on the constitutional rights and responsibilities of democratically elected state governments and will oppose such attempts both inside and outside Parliament.

Welcoming the Congress decision, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha said, “Congress announces its unequivocal opposition to the Delhi Ordinance.”

Earlier on Sunday, when asked if the AAP would attend the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru, Kejriwal told reporters that he can only comment on this after the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting.

The Congress's assertion, without any direct reference to the Delhi ordinance issue, comes amid its ongoing tussle with the AAP, which has demanded that the party must clear its stand to pave the way for it to attend the Bengaluru meeting of Opposition parties and other such future conclaves.

Omar Abdullah, whose National Congress is part of Opposition unity, tweeted, “Exactly what the Congress President had conveyed & committed to the AAP leadership when we met in Patna. The Congress was unequivocal about their stand with regard to the Ordinance.”

The top leadership of the Congress held its parliamentary strategy group meeting where it discussed various issues to be raised during the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning July 20.

Centre promulgated Govt of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance

On May 19, the Centre had promulgated the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi.

The AAP government has termed it as a “deception” with the Supreme Court verdict on control of services.

Asked if the ordinance issue was discussed in the parliamentary strategy group meeting and whether the Congress would oppose the bill related to it in Parliament, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the party has always fought against the Modi government's "assaults" on the constitutional rights and responsibilities of democratically elected state governments and local bodies.

"This assault comes directly and this assault comes from the appointees of the Modi government like the governors. Congress has opposed this in Parliament and we will continue to oppose it, there is no question of not opposing it," he said.

"There are various assaults and it takes various forms. Constitutional bodies are weakened, constitutional agencies are misused, Constitutional bodies are ignored. Let me give you an example, the national commission on scheduled tribes had clearly said to the Modi government that they are against the laws of forest conservation for being against the tribals, but they were ignored," he said.

"We will oppose it in Parliament and outside Parliament," he added.

The Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group meeting was chaired by parliamentary party chief Sonia Gandhi and attended by the likes of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge and Ramesh, among others.

Opposition meeting in Bengaluru on Monday

Asked if the AAP is part of the 24 parties that will be attending the Bengaluru meeting, Ramesh said, "As per I know, the Aam Aadmi Party is one of the 24, coming to Bengaluru."

The opposition grouping to take on the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls is set to expand with more parties joining in at the second unity meeting being convened by the Congress next week in Bengaluru.

Leaders of 24 non-BJP parties have been invited for the meet on June 17 and 18, the first edition of which saw the participation of 15 parties.

At the first meeting in Patna last month, Opposition parties had resolved to take on the BJP unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. However, fissures had also emerged with the AAP asserting that it would be difficult for it to be part of any such gathering in the future till the Congress publicly supports it on the ordinance issue.

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