Patna Opposition meet: Kejriwal-Rahul talks over ordinance
Kejriwal approaches Rahul: With suspense over the Congress’ stance on the Centre’s Delhi ordinance, Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal emphasised the need for Rahul Gandhi to ‘forget the differences’ and move forward together at the joint opposition meeting in Patna, AAP sources said on Saturday (June 24).
Kejriwal told Rahul that the differences could be ‘resolved over tea’.
“Arvind Kejriwal spoke directly to Rahul Gandhi (on the ordinance matter) and said if there is any issue, they can resolve it over tea. In the opposition meeting on Friday, Kejriwal said there is a need to forget the differences and move forward together,” a party source said.
The AAP had given the ultimatum that it will not be a part of the next meeting being planned in Shimla next month if Congress does not clear its stand over the Delhi ordinance. Kejriwal had even skipped the joint press meet of the opposition leaders in Patna which took place soon after the meeting concluded at Bihar Chief Minister’s residence.
The top leaders of over 15 parties including Congress, AAP, TMC, DMK, RJD, Samajwadi Party, PDP and others had attended the meeting.
Sources said that the AAP is yet to decide if it will attend the opposition parties’ next meeting scheduled in Shimla, given the situation at present. The next meeting with be chaired by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, tentatively on July 10 or 12 in Shimla, in which the next course of action is likely to be formulated.
Mamata intervened, asked Rahul-Kejriwal to ‘sit for lunch’
AAP sources claimed that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was also a part of the meeting, intervened and said that Rahul and Kejriwal should sit together for lunch and address all issues. Sources in the AAP also claimed that at the end of the meeting, Kharge alleged that a spokesperson of AAP was making ‘wrong’ statements about the Congress.
“In response, our national convener Arvind Kejriwal clearly stated that Congress spokespersons had also made misleading statements against AAP. Having said that, there is a need to forget the differences and come together,” the source added.
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Rahul stressed on the process of discussion over ordinance
The source further said that Rahul Gandhi emphasised that there was a process to discuss about the ordinance.
“Kejriwal asked the Congress to specify the time for the next meeting, but the Congress leaders were non-responsive. All the top opposition leaders present during the meeting had urged the Congress to clarify its stand on the ordinance and fix a meeting to discuss the same,” the source said.
The source also said that Kejriwal outlined his party’s presence and support to the Congress in the right matters.
“Even when Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership was cancelled, Kejriwal had opposed it. If Gandhi and the Congress are afraid to meet AAP leaders, forging of opposition unity is doubtful. We have been constantly asking for an appointment with the leadership, but the Congress has refused to budge,” he said.
Kharge, however, said a decision on whether to oppose the Centre’s ordinance on the control of administrative services in Delhi would be taken before the Parliament session and wondered why it was being talked about elsewhere when the matter pertained to Parliament.
The opposition parties had attempted to draw the battle lines yesterday when they resolved to take the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) head-on in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
The AAP on Friday said that any alliance with the Congress would be very difficult after its war of words with the grand old party.
At the opposition meet in Patna, many parties urged the Congress to publicly denounce the “black ordinance”, but the grand old party refused to do so which raises suspicions about its real intentions, AAP said in a statement after the meeting.
(With PTI inputs)
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