Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Chandni Chowk Alka Lamba Friday said she has no hesitation in joining the Congress if the party accepts her. “If Congress accepts me back, I will go… AAP has completely exposed its weaknesses by begging Congress for an alliance, not just in Delhi but also in Punjab and Haryana,” she told The Indian Express.
Lamba started out as an NSUI member in the early 1990s and was elected as the Delhi University Students’ Union president in 1995. NSUI is the student wing of the Congress.
She went on to join the party and was made the general secretary of the All India Mahila Congress in 2002. She joined AAP in 2013 and won the Chandni Chowk seat in the 2015 Delhi assembly polls.
“It is clear that AAP wants an alliance with the Congress to beat BJP. I have always been opposed to the ideology of BJP. I joined AAP because I thought it was the party most capable of keeping the BJP out of power. The situation today is clear. The Congress has seen a revival, especially in Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi parliamentary constituencies. If AAP wants to align with Congress, my joining Congress cannot be the wrong decision,” she said.
The Indian Express had reported on March 7 that nine AAP MLAs, including former minister Sandeep Kumar, were in touch with Delhi Congress.
According to sources, Lamba has met some senior Delhi Congress leaders and a decision on her return is pending. Lamba, however, denied that she had reached out to anyone.
“So far, I have not reached out to anyone in the Congress, neither has the party reached out to me,” she said.
Lamba and the AAP leadership have been at loggerheads since a resolution demanding that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna be taken back was purportedly passed in the Delhi Assembly in December last year.
Lamba had said she opposed the resolution as she respected the former PM. She was, however, chastised by the party for speaking to the media without asking what the party’s line was. Since then, Lamba alleges she has been kept out of the loop about party events and meetings.
She was, however, seen campaigning for the party in her area till a few weeks ago. AAP, meanwhile, said she will have to relinquish her MLA seat if she chooses to join Congress.
“If Lamba wants to join any party, she should resign from AAP and join it. But that would mean losing her MLA seat, which requires lot of courage and conviction. Like 67 other MLAs, she also won on the name of Arvind Kejriwal. Wherever she goes, she would need to follow party discipline,” said spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.