All eyes on AAP after Congress’ offer of support (Roundup)

New Delhi, Dec 13: All eyes will be on Aam Aadmi Party Saturday after the Congress announced the support of its eight legislators to enable it to form a government despite a hung assembly in Delhi.

A day before party leader Arvind Kejriwal is set to meet Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, the Congress announced “unconditional” support to the AAP – the second largest grouping which bagged 28 seats in the 70-member house.

Soon after the announcement, senior leaders of AAP met and discussed their response.

An AAP leader however indicated that taking support from Congress was not an option they were looking at.

“We are firm on our strategy not to take support from Congress,” party leader Manish Sisodia told IANS.

Party sources said that all suggestions were being taken into account and the party will convey its formal response on the Congress’ offer to Jung Saturday.

Earlier Friday, the Congress told Jung that it was ready to “unconditionally” support an AAP government to end the political logjam in Delhi.

A Congress source told IANS that all eight legislators of the party were ready to back the AAP.

The party’s letter to Jung read: “Indian National Congress is willing to offer unconditional outside support to AAP if they are ready to form the government.”

“We have come to know through media that after the refusal of BJP to form government in absence of adequate number, you have invited Arvind Kejriwal of AAP to form government,” said the letter signed by party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed and Delhi Congress chief J.P. Agarwal.

All the eight Congress legislators Thursday met party vice president Rahul Gandhi and expressed their desire to support AAP.

The AAP finished second, just behind the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 31, leaving Delhi with a hung house. The BJP Thursday said it will not form a government.

Jung invited Kejriwal to discuss government formation Saturday after the BJP declined the offer.

BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan met Jung Thursday and told him that “in the absence of a clear mandate, it will be better for us that we sit in the opposition”.

“As you know, we are four short of a majority. We have no alternative… We seek the forgiveness of the people for our decision,” he said after his over half-an-hour-long meeting with Jung.

He said the BJP should not be held responsible if its inability to form a government leads to fresh elections because it was the circumstances which are forcing a repoll.

IANS