Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha on Sunday announced that his party would attend the opposition’s Bengaluru meeting on Monday, hours after the Congress made it clear that it would not support the Centre’s ordinance to regulate services in Delhi.
Chadha was speaking to the media after AAP called a meeting of its Political Affairs Committee (PAC) in the national capital on Sunday to decide whether to attend the second opposition meeting.
“The Congress party today made its stand clear and said it will oppose the Delhi Ordinance. We welcome the decision… AAP will attend the joint opposition meeting in Bengaluru on July 17-18,” Chadha said.
Besides Chadda, Gopal Rai and Atishi attended the PAC meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.
Earlier on Sunday, Chadha said the Congress has declared “unequivocal opposition” to the central government’s regulation of services.
“Congress announces unequivocal opposition to Delhi Ordinance. This is a positive development,” he tweeted.
Chadha’s statement came after Congress general secretary KC Venugopal’s statement that the party’s stand was clear as it would oppose any such move by the Center to intervene in opposition-ruled states through governors and decided to oppose the Delhi Ordinance whenever a bill came up in Parliament. up
“We are constantly opposing the central government’s efforts to undermine federalism. We are constantly opposing the central government’s attitude to govern opposition states through governors. Our position is very clear, we are not going to support the Delhi ordinance,” he told PTI.
Reacting to Venugopal’s comments, AAP MP and national spokesperson Raghav Chadha tweeted, “Congress has announced its unequivocal opposition to the Delhi Ordinance. This is a positive development.”
Venugopal said the Congress usually convenes a Parliamentary Strategy Committee meeting just before a session to decide on important issues coming up in Parliament.
“Yesterday, we had a meeting and we have already decided,” he said, whether the Congress would support or oppose the Delhi ordinance.
“Not just the Delhi Ordinance, we will not support any attempt to subvert the federal system of the country and interfere in state affairs using the Governor. Similarly, we are not going to support the Delhi Ordinance. That is very clear,” he said.
With the Congress clarifying its stand on the Delhi Ordinance issue, Venugopala hoped that the AAP would now participate in the upcoming meeting of opposition parties in Bengaluru.
“I think they are going to attend the meeting tomorrow. This is our thought,” said the Congress leader.
However, the AAP has not yet clarified whether it will attend the opposition meeting. The party had earlier said it would attend the meeting only if the Congress extended its support to the AAP by opposing the Delhi Ordinance in Parliament.
Targeting the Congress, BJP spokesperson Jayveer Shergill said, “The split Congress is holding a ‘meeting of the opposition’ in Bengaluru, first the differences between the Congress should be explained”.
“On Delhi Service Ordinance issue: Punjab Congress Mr Pratap Bajwa categorically says ‘AAP does not deserve Congress support’. Congress leader Mr Maken says ‘Congress will not support AAP’. Ordinance-support favors AAP”.
“Political frustration and confusion grip Congress,” he said on Twitter.
In their first meeting in Patna, the opposition parties decided to fight the BJP unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP-led central government in May introduced an ordinance on the transfer and posting of bureaucrats in Delhi, effectively defying a Supreme Court ruling that gave control over services to the elected government in Delhi.
The Ordinance seeks to constitute a National Capital Civil Service Authority for transfer and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.
Prior to the May 11 Supreme Court verdict, all transfers and postings of Delhi government officials were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor.
Congress leader Pawan Khera said his party opposed “any attempt to attack the federal structure, be it by the Governor of Tamil Nadu or any other Governor where regional parties or the Congress is in power, as was done in Bengal. We have always opposed it.”
In this manner, the Congress party will oppose the ordinance in Delhi, he said.
“We said this last month that we will put our position on this issue in the public domain after our Parliamentary Strategy Group meeting. Our position is very clear that we will not tolerate any attempt to attack the federal structure and will oppose any such move,” he added.
The meeting in Bengaluru is scheduled to bring together the opposition to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Top leaders of at least 24 political parties will attend the second opposition unity meeting called by the Congress in Bengaluru.
Notably, a mega opposition meeting was held in Patna, Bihar on 23 June. The AAP asked the Congress to clarify its stand on the Centre’s Ordinance, brought by the Central Government regarding transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi.