AAP, BJP field candidates for Speaker

With both the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielding candidates for the post of Speaker of the Delhi Assembly, all eyes are now on the Congress which continue to keep the AAP guessing.

The Congress is yet to announce if they will support the AAP candidate and sources in the party said a decision in this regard was likely to be taken just prior to the vote.

Sources in the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee also said a section of Congress leaders is considering the option of nominating a candidate from their eight legislators.

The AAP had named first-time MLA M S Dhir as their candidate for the Speaker, while on Thursday BJP's Jagdish Mukhi filed his nomination for the post.

Earlier, Mukhi the most senior legislator in the Assembly and JD(U) MLA Shoaib Iqbal had declined to be pro-tem Speaker. Eventually, Congress MLA Mateen Ahmed was appointed pro-team Speaker.

The Congress has so far been tight lipped about whether they would support the AAP candidate.

"The AAP hasn't approached us on the Speaker issue, as a result we haven't decided anything," a senior Congress leader said.

After winning the trust vote, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "How does it matter who becomes the Speaker? We'll continue to work the way we have been."

Sources in the Congress said AICC General Secretary B K Hariprasad has been appointed to consider the views of the members of the Congress Legislative Party in order to decide on whether to support Dhir's candidature.

While initially the Congress was willing to support AAP candidate for the post of the Speaker, Kejriwal's reticence on finding a consensus candidate led the party to reconsider its stand, sources said.

Senior Congress leaders said their decision to hold the cards close to their chest on the issue also had to do with the party's strategy of keeping the "AAP in line".

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