Congress may not be in a position to pull the rug under the feet of the AAP

Though the Aam Aadmi Party’s plan to pass a Jan Lokpal Bill for Delhi and have scams during the Congress rule investigated has former Ministers worried, the Congress is unlikely to pull the rug from under the feet of the AAP at any point in time.

A Congress leader said even if the party were to withdraw support, the AAP could keep functioning as a minority government till the next vote of confidence.

“The question here is whether at that point of time the BJP would want to bring the government down. Obviously, the BJP would want to bring about the downfall of the AAP government only when it feels confident of enough support from the people to form a government on its own in Delhi. At such a moment, would the Congress then be prepared to help the BJP realise its dream?”

Realising this, supporters of some former Delhi Ministers have held protests against the Congress decision to support an AAP government, but there is also a growing view within the party that vice-president Rahul Gandhi does not want any wrongdoer to be protected, especially at a time when he has ensured passage of the Lokpal Bill.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Delhi Shakeel Ahmed said the Congress was not really worried about the AAP opening up any case of corruption that may have taken place in the past. “The party had, in its 18-point letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, also referred to this issue and stated that its taking support does not mean that it would provide any relaxation in case any evidence of corruption was found against a leader of the Congress.”

Mr. Ahmed said these issues had been discussed by the Congress at the time of its deciding to extend support to the AAP. “There was a difference of opinion then too within the party, but still a decision [to support] was taken.”

Moreover, the AAP’s rise augurs well for the Congress in some respects. Most importantly, it checked the surge of the BJP in Delhi. And now the Congress believes that AAP could act as a double-edged sword which would ultimately harm the BJP more in the elections and could significantly check Narendra Modi’s forward march in the Hindi heartland.

“For the Congress, there is much more in AAP than mere Delhi politics. It sees in the party a strong weapon to counter the growth of BJP under Modi. So Congress is also seeing AAP as its enemy’s enemy,” said the AICC member.