Congress on Monday made it clear that it was in no hurry to reconsider its support to the AAP government in Delhi, but expressed disappointment over its functioning and also condemned the criticism by its minister Somnath Bharti of President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech on the eve of the Republic Day.
“While arriving at a decision (to support AAP), various factors were taken into consideration… it’s not that today we are extending support and tomorrow we will withdraw it. “We do not decide such things in a light manner… We will keep patience,” senior Congress spokesperson Mukul Wasnik told reporters at an AICC meeting.
Wasnik stressed that Congress was aware of the situation in Delhi and would minutely observe the developments. “No deadline as such has been given (to AAP to fulfil the promises made in its manifesto). We gave them support to form the government because we wanted to avoid the burden of another election on the people of Delhi. “Unfortunately, the speed with which they should have moved forward is not there,” Wasnik added. Wasnik, meanwhile, refused to go into the controversy surrounding the expulsion of AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny, who today met the Delhi Lt Governor over issues which he claimed have not been addressed by the Kejriwal government.
Binny is learnt to have also demanded action against controversial Law Minister Somnath Bharti. Wasnik, however, condemned AAP when it was pointed out that Bharti had criticised President Pranab Mukherjee’s “populist anarchy” remarks. “Various statements keep coming from AAP. It is unfortunate that somebody makes such comments even on the President’s remarks. We strongly condemn this,” he said.
Bharti had referred to the President’s comments in a tweet in which he appeared to juxtapose the recent agitation by AAP in Delhi with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and the post-Godhra riots of 2002 in Gujarat. The Delhi Law Minister later denied the post which has now been removed from his twitter.com page.
Meanwhile, hailing Mukherjee’s “statesman-like” approach and his long experience of public life, Wasnik said that the speech made by him contained a lot of wisdom and and would be a guidance for many. Wasnik, an MP from Maharashtra, however, refused to draw parallels between AAP and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS over the issue of toll plaza violence in that state.
“There should be no place for vandalism in politics. If there is some dispute over toll, there is a legal mechanism to address it.
“It is not appropriate to reach a conclusion that the government is promoting anybody on this. There is rule of law in Maharashtra,” Wasnik said, referring to talk that the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra was backing MNS. He, however, refrained from directly answering a question as to whether Congress also considers Thackeray to be an “anarchist” in the same way that the party regards AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal as being one. “I won’t like to comment on individuals or particular parties with phrases like ‘anarchist’,” he said, adding that, “Their actions will be there before the nation and people will decide (on the basis of) that.”