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AAP claims Cong refused to publicly denounce Delhi services ordinance

‘Will be difficult to attend future opposition meets’

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NEW DELHI, June 23 (PTI): Claiming the Congress has “refused” to publicly denounce the Centre’s ordinance on Delhi’s administrative services, the AAP on Friday said it will be difficult for it to attend future meetings of opposition parties where the Congress is a participant.

The Congress’ silence raises suspicions about its real intentions, the AAP said in a statement.

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This came on a day when leaders from 17 opposition parties, including Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, met in Patna and “decided to work together and contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections unitedly” by setting aside their differences.

On Thursday, the AAP had threatened to walk out of the opposition leaders’ meeting if the Congress did not promise its support against the Centre’s ordinance.

“The Congress, a national party that takes a stand on almost all issues, is yet to make its position on the black ordinance public. However, the Congress’ Delhi and Punjab units have announced that the party should support the Modi government on this issue.

“Today, during the (meeting of) like-minded parties… in Patna, many parties urged the Congress to publicly denounce the black ordinance. However, the Congress refused to do so,” the AAP said in its statement.

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The black ordinance is anti-constitutional and outright undemocratic. Furthermore, it seeks to reverse the Supreme Court’s judgment on the issue and is an affront to the judiciary, it said.

“The Congress’ hesitation and refusal to act as a team player, especially on an issue as important as this one, would make it very difficult for the AAP to be a part of any alliance that includes Congress,” it said.

“Until the Congress publicly denounces the black ordinance and declares that all 31 of its RS MPs will oppose the ordinance in the Rajya Sabha, it will be difficult for AAP to participate in future meetings of like-minded parties where the Congress is a participant,” it said.

The AAP said it’s high time that the Congress decides whether it is standing with the people of Delhi or the Modi government.

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“In personal discussions, senior Congress leaders have hinted that their party might informally or formally abstain from voting on it in the Rajya Sabha,” it charged.

“The Congress’ abstention from voting on this issue will help the BJP immensely in furthering its attack on Indian democracy.

“If left unchallenged, this dangerous trend could spread to all other states, resulting in the usurpation of power from democratically elected state governments. It is crucial to defeat this black Ordinance,” it said.

The Centre had on May 19 promulgated an ordinance to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi, a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in the capital, excluding police, public order and land, to the elected government.

Following the ordinance, Kejriwal has been reaching out to leaders of non-BJP parties to garner their support against the ordinance so that the Centre’s bid to replace it through a bill is defeated when it is brought in Parliament.

AAP chief spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar told PTI, “We have received information from reliable sources that Rahul Gandhi and the BJP have reached an agreement that the Congress will stand by the BJP on the issue of this illegal ordinance.”

“The Congress should make clear whether it is standing with the Constitution or the BJP,” she said.

The Centre’s ordinance seeks to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.

Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor before the May 11 verdict of the apex court.

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