Hours after they joined AAP on Friday, Delhi Congress’s vice-president Ali Mehdi and the two sitting councillors of Mustafabad and Brijpuri wards returned to the Grand Old Party early on Saturday.
Posting a video on Twitter and apologising for his move, Mehdi said he had made a “big mistake” by joining AAP. He also changed his Twitter bio from “Indian” to “Worker of Rahul Gandhi”.
Mehdi apparently returned after protests broke out in Northeast Delhi’s Mustafabad and Brijpuri against his decision to switch sides. Senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken, party social media in-charge Manu Jain, and others also criticised Mehdi and called him a “snake” for crossing over.
Mehdi, along with Sabila Begum from Mustafabad and Naziya Khatoon from Brijpuri, joined the AAP on Friday evening and were welcomed by MLA Durgesh Pathak. “We decided to join AAP after seeing the good work done by Arvind Kejriwal. We want development in our area,” Mehdi had said.
He had also changed his Twitter bio as “Indian”/MLA Candidate and the profile picture to one of him wearing a yellow kurta. However, after his return, he changed his bio to “Worker of Rahul Gandhi”.
In a tweet on Saturday, he wrote: “I don’t want any post. I just want to work for the Congress. I made a big mistake and I apologise for it with folded hands and I want to apologise to Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and all the residents of my area and party workers. I am a worker of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, I was a Congressi and will always remain a Congress worker.” He added that he had also spoken to the councillors and they, too, would soon post a video apologising for joining the AAP.
Reacting to Mehdi’s return, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said: “I saw his statement yesterday, he said he wants to develop his area together with Kejriwal. But his party must have called him and spoken to him… following which he must have decided to switch (back).”
Meanwhile, DPCC president Anil Kumar accused AAP of misleading a couple of newly elected Congress councillors with false promises and inducements. “They quickly realised Kejriwal’s mischief and reaffirmed their faith in the Congress and its leadership,” he said.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor also hit out at AAP over the move and said: “The political game of Congress councillors and leaders joining AAP and then rejoining their old party has exposed them. The poaching of councillors before and after the civic polls clearly shows AAP has lost the moral right to speak on party-hopping issue. People of Delhi want to know whether their CM Arvind Kejriwal approves the power game being played by their MLA Durgesh Pathak.”
The Congress won nine seats in the MCD polls. With two councillors joining the AAP on Friday, it was left with only seven. However, now, it seems that the party will retain all its seats. AAP had won the MCD polls with a majority of 134 seats of the 250 wards.