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Politics
31 Mar 2017

AAP Woes: Four Delhi MLAs wish to join Congress

AAP Delhi MLAs approach rival parties

Adding to the troubles of Aam Aadmi Party, the party's four sitting Members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly have expressed their wish to join the Congress party.

However, the decision to induct the MLAs into Congress rests with Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken.

Not revealing anything, Maken said, "It is a matter of strategy, but I do not wish to comment on it further."

In context

AAP Delhi MLAs approach rival parties

AAP MLAs

Rahul Gandhi apprised of the development: Congress's PC Chacko

All India Congress Committee's General Secretary in charge of Delhi, PC Chacko, confirmed that AAP MLAs have approached Congress leaders in the past six months.

He said Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had also been informed of the development.

He also added that the AAP legislators insisted that candidates of their choice be allowed to contest Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls on Congress ticket.

PC Chacko's statement

When asked about allowing candidates of AAP MLAs' choice to contest MCD elections, Chacko said: "That is not possible. We have people who have been working for a long time and we need to think about them first. This is the real problem."

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Congress

AAP legislators claim they can bring 31 more sitting MLAs

AAP MLAs reportedly claimed they could bring as many as 31 sitting MLAs to Congress with them.

For Congress, however, accommodating AAP MLAs and their candidates of choice for the upcoming MCD elections would mean elbowing out current leaders, which is why Congress is taking time to make a decision.

Another matter of concern for Congress is the anti-incumbency factor against AAP leaders.

The four AAP MLAs: The black sheep?

The four AAP MLAs who approached senior Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Ahmed Patel to join the party are Devinder Sehrawat, Aseem Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Ishraque, and Sandeep Kumar. They reportedly expressed discomfort over AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal's authoritarian working style.

Sacked MLAs

Ishraque, Khan deny approaching Congress

Mohammad Ishraque and Aseem Ahmed Khan denied that they were in talks to join the Congress Party.

Sandeep Kumar, Delhi's former Women and Child Development Minister, was sacked over a sex tape allegedly featuring him.

Khan, Delhi's former Food Minister, was fired for alleged corruption.

Sehrawat was suspended for writing to Kejriwal alleging that Punjab AAP leaders were exploiting women in return for tickets.

AAP Greater Kailash MLA & Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj's statement

"Most of them (the MLAs approaching Congress) through their actions, which are in the public domain now, have embarrassed AAP. There have been charged of corruption and of rape. If the Congress find(s) them suitable then people should rethink the Congress."

Party-hopping

Run-up to MCD polls witnesses party-hopping

Sehrawat, Khan, and Kumar have reportedly been at loggerheads with AAP's leadership for months now.

Ahead of MCD polls, Nanakpura AAP Councilor, Anil Malik, and Govindpuri BJP Councilor, Chander Prakash, joined Congress.

Bawana AAP legislator, Ved Prakash, recently returned to BJP.

Former Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay earlier claimed that AAP was "heading for a split" for its "poor performance" in Punjab and Goa.

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