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Congress sends reply to AAP on posers, says 16 of 18 demands need administrative decisions

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 20:23

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday sent a detailed response to Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal’s 18 points he raised before deciding on whether his party could form the government in Delhi.

Speaking to the media, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said that 16 out of 18 issues raised by the AAP are totally administrative and to implement them no party needs any support or approval from the state Assembly. “If any party is in power it can implement those as they are not legislative issues, but administrative,” Ahmed said.

In a letter which bore the signature of party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, the Congress said the remaining two demands - Jan Lokpal bill and full statehood for Delhi - were outside the purview of the Delhi government.

Putting forward Congress’ stand Ahmed stressed that the other two issues - Lokpal Bill and giving full statehood to Delhi doesn’t fall within state Assembly’s domain. Commenting on the ombudsman bill, Ahmed said that the Lokpal Bill is already in the Parliament and most probably will sail through. “The 16 points are not legislative so our support not needed. Rest two we support but also are out of Delhi`s governance reach,” Ahmed said.

“We have said that we will support them if they want to make any changes in Lokayuka Act of Delhi if it is not contrary to any law passed by Parliament,” the Congress leader added.

On the issue of Delhi getting full statehood status, the Congress leader said that the party has also proposed the same and also mentioned in its manifesto.

Ahmed also said that the new political outfit AAP lacks experience and thus they did not know that 16 points that they listed are administrative.

Reacting to Congress’ stand, AAP leader Manish Sisodia said that the political affairs committee will meet and discuss. Sisodia said that party will go to the people for opinion as well.

The AAP on Saturday sought 10 days` time from Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to decide on government formation, and asked the two parties to clear their stand on 18 issues it listed in letters to Congeress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh.

The points include: Regularisation of unauthorised colonies, pukka (concrete) houses for slum dwellers, 500 new schools, regular jobs for those working on contract basis with the Delhi government, full statehood for Delhi and control over Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Police by the state government and not the centre, and provision for people to make decisions at "mohalla sabhas" or neighbourhood gatherings.

Kejriwal met Lt.Governor Jung after the Bharatiya Janata Party, which netted 32 seats in the 70-member assembly, including one seat by its ally Akali Dal, Thursday conveyed it was not in a position to form the government.

The results of the Delhi assembly polls were announced Dec 8. The one-year-old AAP emerged the second-largest party, winning 28 seats.

The Congress, which won only eight seats, has offered the AAP unconditional support. In his letter to Jung, however, Kejriwal maintained that "no support is `unconditional` in politics".

First Published: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 17:51
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