New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Congress leaders from Delhi and Punjab met here on Tuesday to discuss the Aam Aadmi Party's demand for opposing the Centre's ordinance that effectively nullifies Supreme Court order over control of services in Delhi.
Partap Singh Bajwa, Ajay Maken and Sandeep Dikshit were among the party leaders who participated in the meeting.
Bajwa, who is Congress legislative party leader in the Punjab assembly, accused the AAP government of a witch-hunt against party leaders in the state and opposed extending support to AAP over its demand.
He said AAP has been instrumental in giving a political edge to BJP in some states and Congress should "not protect a wolf in the sheep's clothing".
"@AamAadmiParty@ArvindKejriwal deserve no support or sympathy from @INCIndia. @AAPPunjab govt has launched ruthless witch-hunt against @INCPunjab leaders and workers and has made their lives hell by misusing the police and investigation agencies," Bajwa said in a tweet.
"I appeal to INC high command to consult the leadership of Punjab, HP, Delhi, Uttarakhand, GujaratKarnataka before even considering helping AAP. It was instrumental in giving a political edge to BJP in these states. AAP is the B team of BJP and they are two sides of the same coin. Let's not protect a wolf in the sheep's clothing," he added.
Congress sources said while party leaders in Delhi and Punjab are opposed to extending support to AAP, the party's central leadership is more sympathetic to Kejriwal on the issue of ordinance in view of ongoing efforts to forge opposition unity to take on the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The final decision will be taken by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, the sources said.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal had on Monday clarified the party's position on the Ordinance and said it will take a decision after consulting state units and like-minded opposition parties.
"The Congress Party has not taken any decision on the issue of the Ordinance brought against the SC judgment on the powers of the Government of NCT of Delhi with respect to appointment of officers. It will consult its state unitsother like-minded parties on the same," Venugopal said in a tweet.
"The Party believes in the Rule of Law and at the same time does not condone unnecessary confrontation, political witch-hunt and campaigns based on lies against political opponents by any political party," he added.
AAP is a key rival of Congress in Delhi and Punjab and is seen to have cut into party's vote share in some other states.
Arvind Kejriwal has sought the support of opposition parties to defeat the bill to replace the ordinance when it is brought by the BJP-led government in Rajya Sabha.
He is expected to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar.
Amid the row over the Centre's Ordinance with respect to the control of services in Delhi, former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Sunday left a piece of advice for Kejriwal while recalling the tenure of Sheila Dikshit as Chief Minister.
Maken urged Kejriwal to engage with officers respectfully, hold dialogue, and persuade them for Delhi's advancement.
The Union Government on May 19 brought an ordinance to notify rules for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) regarding the 'transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters'.
The ordinance was brought to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and it circumvents the Supreme Court judgement in the Centre vs Delhi case.
Kejriwal had termed the Centre's move "undemocratic and illegal" alleging that it "attacks the basic structure of the Constitution".
The ordinance creates National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA) that will have the power to recommend the transfer and posting of all Group A officers and officers of DANICS serving in Delhi.
The ordinance designates the Lieutenant Governor (LG) as the administrator of Delhi who will have the final say on the postings and transfer of all bureaucrats serving the Delhi government. (ANI)