Patna: Stopping short of staging a walkout at the opposition meeting in Patna on Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party skipped the press briefing and came out with a statement condemning the Congress’ “silence” over the Delhi central ordinance. .
Party founder Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chaddha, who represented AAP at the meeting, were conspicuous by their absence at the press conference. .
However, on its official Twitter handle, the party came out with a statement asserting the centrality of the “black ordinance”, which “not only aims to snatch democratic rights of an elected government in Delhi but poses a significant threat to India’s democracy and constitutional principles”. .
The statement noted that among the parties that attended the meeting in Patna, “12 have representation in the Rajya Sabha” and “except for the Indian National Congress” all others have “clearly expressed their stand against the ordinance and announced that they would oppose it in the Rajya Sabha”. .
“The Congress, a national party that takes a stand on almost all issues, is yet to make public its position on the Black Ordinance”, the statement rued, adding that Delhi and Punjab units were of the view “the party should support the Modi government on the issue”. .
At the meeting, many parties urged the Congress to publicly denounce the ordinance but the Congress refused to do so, claimed AAP, adding that the grand old party’s “silence raises suspicions about its real intentions”. .
At the press conference, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had convened the meeting, sought to downplay the AAP’s absence. .
“Those who had to catch an early flight could not stay back for the press conference. Don’t fixate on that. Pay attention to how many parties have joined us in our endeavour”, said the JD(U) supreme leader. .
There was no immediate reaction to the AAP’s allegations from the Congress, which was represented at the meeting by Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge.