Cong reply to AAP: Only outside support, not unconditional

Arvind KejriwalCongress and BJP seem to be on the same page in tyring to corner AAP.

The BJP and Congress seem united in their effort to corner the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, after Arvind Kejriwal put forward 18 conditions to party presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rajnath Singh before deciding on government formation.

While the Congress hit back on Monday saying 16 issues required no support in the Delhi Assembly and two were out of its purview, the BJP has decided not to reply on the ground that it had not made any offer to the AAP.

Clarifying the party's stand, AICC general secretary in charge of Delhi Shakeel Ahmed, in a letter to Kejriwal, said, "In our letter, there is no mention of giving unconditional support. We have spoken about giving outside support which means that we will not be a part of the government's cabinet... We want Delhi to have an elected government and not be burdened unnecessarily. It's not possible for us to support BJP, which is why we had offered to support your party."

Reiterating the party's stand, the letter specified that of the 18 issues raised by the AAP, 16 were administrative decisions — to be taken by the Chief Minister and the cabinet — and don't involve the legislature. "Once the government is formed, the permission of the Delhi Assembly is not required for these decisions," it said.

The remaining two issues — the Jan Lokpal Bill and full statehood of Delhi — are outside the purview of the Delhi Government, said the letter. With regard to the Jan Lokpal Bill, Ahmed said the Congress would support any constitutional and legal amendments that AAP brings to Delhi's Lokayukta. "As per legal procedures, if you wish to amend (the Delhi Lokayukta Act) and if this amendment is constitutional and doesn't violate any central law, then we will support you," said the letter.

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