All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Delhi Shakeel Ahmed on Monday said the Congress has sent a detailed reply to Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on the 18 demands raised by it in its letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Ahmed – to whom the letter had been forwarded by Ms. Gandhi – said he had sent a detailed reply to the AAP.
“Since the AAP had noticed that we had offered unconditional support to them to form a government in Delhi, I have pointed out that we had not used the word “unconditional” in our letter to the Lieutenant Governor. I have also attached a copy of that letter in my response.”
Mr. Ahmed said the Congress had only offered “outside support” to the AAP, which in effect meant that it would not be participating in the government or ministry.
The AICC leader said as AAP had also raised objections to his party’s offering support without their asking for it, he has also pointed out that Congress offered support as it wanted a government to be formed in Delhi so that there was no additional financial burden on the people due to another election. “We have also told AAP that since we cannot support the BJP, we had offered our support to them.”
On the 18 points mentioned by Mr. Kejriwal in his letter to the Congress president, Mr. Ahmed said barring points number 2 and 4 all the remaining 16 were administrative in nature. “We have pointed out to AAP that they do not need the permission of the Assembly to implement any of these.”
On the remaining two points, he said one was related to the constitution of the Lokpal. “Our letter says that as far as Lokpal is concerned, the Bill could be passed in Parliament even this week. As for any amendment in the Lokayukta Act, we have made it clear that we would support any Bill which is in accordance with the law of the land and in keeping with the spirit of the institution.”
So was the case with the demand for full Statehood for Delhi, Mr. Ahmed said, adding that the Congress was prepared to extend its support to the cause. “We have told them that full Statehood for Delhi was also a part of our manifesto.”