Lok Sabha elections 2019: Ready to join Congress if party invites me, says AAP MLA Alka Lamba

Rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from Chandni Chowk Alka Lamba on Friday said she is ready to join the Congress if the party formally invites her into its fold. Lamba’s intent to join the party was welcomed by Delhi Congress in-charge PC Chacko.

“They (Congress party) have to take the final decision. If they accept me, I will take their offer. I have given 20 years to the party (Congress),” she said. Lamba said the AAP “going after the Congress” for an alliance has exposed their weakness.

Responding to Lamba, Chacko said the party will “always welcome her”. “She was the president of NSUI, the Congress’s student wing. There are many people who left the party on different occasions, but when they come back, we always welcome them,” he said.

The AAP said no party can force anyone to be a part of its organisation. “If Lamba wants to join another party, she should resign from the AAP and do so. But that would mean losing her MLA seat, which requires a lot of courage and conviction. She is a career politician and has worked in the Congress for 20 years. She left the Congress, cursed them and joined the AAP. Like 67 other MLAs, she also won in the name of Arvind Kejriwal. Wherever she goes, she would need to follow party discipline,” Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP spokesperson and Greater Kailash MLA, said.

Lamba said she did not approve the manner in which AAP has been repeatedly going to the Congress for an alliance. “They (Congress) aren’t coming to us (AAP). This is an admission that if any party can stop the BJP from coming to power, it is the Congress,” Lamba said.

In December, Lamba had said the AAP had asked her to resign for protesting against an alleged proposal seeking to revoke former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna.

The AAP had, however, rubbished her allegations.

Since then, the Chandni Chowk MLA has been complaining about her being removed from AAP’s WhatsApp groups, not being invited to party events and CM Kejriwal unfollowing her on Twitter.

The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) had last week confirmed that nine of AAP’s sitting MLAs were in touch with them, discussing possible roles with the Congress. Senior leaders from the Congress also said AAP MLA Devinder Kumar Sehrawat from Bijwasan was in talks with them. Differences between Sehrawat and the AAP leadership is an open secret, with him criticising the party and its leadership on various platforms.

“You will know if and when there is a development,” Sehrawat said on Friday.

Former AAP minister Sandeep Kumar had also met Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit last week.

Delhi Congress spokesperson Jitender Kochar said AAP’s legislators leaving the party is a sign of their dwindling confidence in their party.

“Nine of their legislators are in talks with us. However, we have made our stand clear that if anything happens, it will be without any condition,” Kochar said.

Senior leaders from the Congress also said formally inducting these MLAs into the party will take a while as the party is still considering their requests. “We are hoping that their entry will be announced around the election time so that the people of Delhi know the true state of AAP,” a Congress leader said.

First Published:
Mar 16, 2019 05:53 IST

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