“Protests are a good way of injecting energy into the demoralised party cadre as well as exhibiting that the party is not finished yet”
Street protests and demonstrations over varied issues had become synonymous with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi during the past one year. However, the Congress which largely took the brunt of the AAP protests when it was in power has now taken the protest route against the persistent power outages across the city, blaming the BJP-led Government at the Centre and the previous AAP Government in Delhi for the power crisis.
While the Congress leaders claim they forced the Union Power Minister and the Delhi Government into action by holding protests, insiders said the party has latched on to the opportunity – the city’s power crisis – with an eye on its own political revival in Delhi, where it has been battered over successive elections over the last two years, conceding political ground to the fledgling AAP in the process.
Starting with gherao of Delhi Chief Secretary S.K. Srivastava in his office at the Delhi Secretariat on Monday, several Congress leaders including sitting and former legislators have been holding protests in different parts of the city this week even as the BJP, AAP, and Congress continue to trade allegations against each other for the hours-long power outages.
“The party knows fully well that the road ahead is tough, but these are the tiny steps towards gaining some lost ground. Such protests, when people are suffering due to power crisis, are a good way of injecting energy into the demoralised party cadre, as well as exhibiting a strong message that the party might have lost, but it is not finished yet,” a senior Congress leader said.
While the five-time Congress legislator from Sultanpur Jai Kishan held a day-long hunger strike on Wednesday over power and water crisis in his constituency, hundreds of party workers led by Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh and former MP Sajjan Kumar held protests in Khanpur area of South Delhi.
Blaming the BJP and the AAP for the crisis, Mr. Singh said that the party will not stop protesting until people of Delhi get relief from the ongoing power crisis.
“Had the Central Government made enough power available to Delhi, such an explosive situation would not have arisen now. It was only after the Congress gheraoed the chief secretary at the Delhi Secretariat that the ruling BJP leadership was awakened from their deep slumber on the power and water woes in Delhi,” said Mr. Singh.
The Congress leaders also termed Arvind Kejriwal’s statement that there was no shortage of power during his rule in Delhi as “laughable.” “Even in the worst of times, January and February would hardly face any power shortages,” added Mr. Singh.