The AAP – Congress Alliance
The AAP – Congress alliance:
“I swear on my children that there can be no tie-up between us. We are fighting the election against these scam-ridden parties”. That was the exact statement of Aam Aaadmi Party (AAP) leader, Arvind Kejriwal before the smashing debut of the greenhorn AAP in the Delhi State Assembly Elections. However, as the situation had turned out, Kejriwal, after a little wrangling, had went ahead to form the Government with the ‘outside support’ of the ‘scam ridden’ Congress Party.
Congress, an eager beaver for power, is in fact a sworn rival of the AAP. So, sooner or later it is expected that sparks of tension are going to fly between these two political entities. In spite of taking the Congress support, AAP maintains that there is nothing common between them and their ally, the Congress Party. After the Assembly elections in Delhi, Kejriwal had decided to meet the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to declare that the AAP did not have the adequate number of seats to form a Government.
However, just a day before, the Congress Party, in a written communication to the LG had acceded to offer support to the AAP in forming a Government, if AAP felt willing about such an alliance. From then up till now, Kejriwal’s attitude towards the Congress had softened a lot. Kejriwal had defended his stand against the Congress in spite of the alliance with the Party as the demand of the people and the acceptance of the challenge thrown to him by the BJP and the Congress.
AAP leader Manish Sisodia had further confirmed that the Congress Party is simply their colleague in the joint venture for the betterment of Delhi through providing effective solutions to its problems. However, senior Congress leaders have always treated AAP with disdain. Sheila Dixit had taken a swing at the AAP by dubbing them as ‘monsoon pests’ while Salman Khurshid has expressed his disregard by calling the AAP ‘gutter ka keeda’.
Under the circumstances, the voluntary ‘outside support’ of the Congress to the AAP in forming the Government had indeed come as a surprising move. An equally surprising political move from Kejriwal had been the furnishing of the 18-point letter to the Congress, seeking clarification of whether the Congress Party would extend their cooperation in supporting the main issues of the poll plank of the AAP.
Political analysts on the AAP – Congress alliance:
While the Congress rank and regime seems to be seriously divisive in their move to give the outside support to the AAP in forming a Government, political experts seem to be congruent on the opinion that it is highly unlikely for the Congress Party to break the alliance with AAP, at least for the time being. As correctly pointed out by the political analyst Pradip Kumar Dutta, Professor, Delhi University, the Congress AAP alliance is not some tacit understanding privately formulated by the parties.
The Congress, in fact, had expressed their written consent to the LG of supporting the AAP. This in effect, gives the alliance a very definite constitutional angle and it would cost the Congress their Constitutional plausibility if they try to break the alliance. Besides, in the face of the AAP’s constant claims of exposing the corruption charges against the 127-year-old party, a withdrawal of support under the circumstances would only implicate Congress as if they have indeed a lot to hide. Such an action will further bolster the corruption crusader image of the AAP that they had cultivated so successfully and carefully. Besides, a withdrawal of the Congress support will also upset the vote bank equations in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. With the AAP fielding for nearly 100 seats, the anti-Congress votes will definitely swing in favour of AAP. This will affect the prime opposition BJP also, since they are also counting on the anti-Congress votes.
Congress Party on the AAP – Congress alliance:
Senior Congress Leader Janardan Dwivedi had confirmed the doubts amongst the Congress Party rank and regime regarding the correctness of the Congress in supporting the AAP. Finance Minister P Chidambaram had also acquiesced to the fact about the severe disagreements within the Congress Party to support AAP. Chidambaram personally had been against such a move and had dubbed it as ‘unnecessary’ in the light of the fact that the Congress Party had been reduced to the third place with only 8 seats in the Delhi Assembly Elections.
Prime opposition BJP on the AAP – Congress alliance:
Chief Opposition BJP Leaders have designated this action of Kejriwal of accepting the outside support of the Congress Party as an example of inordinate hypocrisy. BJP feels that such actions have made Kejriwal totally answerable to the people, especially in the light of his corruption crusader image and his solemn vows before the elections of never forming a pact with a corruption ridden party. As for the Congress AAP alliance, the vibes of the BJP are clear. They are extremely doubtful whether such an alliance will last the full term of Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi, though they are of the opinion that the Congress party will not revert back to its backstabbing policies till the Lok Sabha elections are over.
Swimming against the political tide, the Congress needs to burnish its corrupt party image on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls, which happens to be one of the main reasons for offering its support to the AAP. Kejriwal, on the other hand, is trying to project his image as a political maverick by delivering overnight promises though their sustainability remains highly questionable. His radical departure from his original stand and shaking hands with the arch rival Congress Party only indicates that Kejriwal is turning into a politician much faster than expected. For all intents and purposes, the AAP Congress alliance is a highly unstable one and it is to be seen what Kejriwal does when the Congress finally pulls the rug from beneath his feet!