Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is inclined to give a longer rope to the Aam Aadmi Party, it is learnt, even as the latter continues to embarrass the ruling party at the Centre, ridiculing it for its unsolicited support to form the government in Delhi and even accusing Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde of being corrupt.
At a meeting with senior leaders from Delhi on Saturday, Rahul was said to have asked them to watch the AAP’s “tamasha”, adding that it would get exposed in “two to four months”.
“Aap log tamasha dekho (watch the fun). These people will not be able to do anything. Gimmickry does not work. They will get thoroughly exposed in two to four months,” sources quoted the Congress vice-president as saying at the meeting.
Party sources, however, said the Congress is unlikely to withdraw support to the AAP government until the Lok Sabha elections “at least” as it would not like to “gift martyrdom” and would rather wait for it to get exposed in terms of non-delivery of promises to people.
In an interview to The Indian Express on Sunday, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that supporting the AAP government was an “unnecessary decision” and it should have kept quiet as, with eight seats, it was neither voted to form the government nor to be the principal opposition party.
AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi had taken the same line earlier, saying that there were “divergent views” within the Congress and the decision to support AAP was “perhaps not correct”.
Dwivedi had then said that since the proposal to support AAP had already been made, the party had to stick to it. But with the Congress left red-faced with daily barbs from the AAP government, the party finds itself in a devil-and-the-deep-sea situation.
Observers said the unfolding crisis over the Delhi Police would test the Congress and see how much of a long rope it can afford to give in the coming days. The Congress has been under pressure even before the latest confrontation as its MLAs in Delhi have been consistently critical of decisions of the Kejriwal government since it took power.
Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who had also argued that the Congress should not have supported the AAP government as the mandate was not for this, Monday slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for what he said was resorting to “gimmickry” to cover up for “governance deficit”.
He said the “vigilantism” of AAP minister Somnath Bharti has played out badly in countries with which India has friendly relations for …continued »