Congress's Ajay Maken accuses AAP of alliance with BJP, dents opposition's united front plantext_fields
New Delhi: In a blow to the opposition's attempt to present a unified front against the BJP in the upcoming 2024 elections, Congress leader Ajay Maken launched an attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and accused it of collaborating with the ruling party.
The confrontation also dominated the opposition's first official meeting held in Patna on Friday.
Maken expressed his discontent in a video statement in which he highlighted the contradictory actions of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. "On the one hand, Arvind Kejriwal is seeking support of the Congress. Then he goes to Rajasthan and gives statements against one of our senior-most leaders, a three-time Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, and Sachin Pilot, one of the very senior leaders and a former minister," Maken stated. "So do they (AAP) really want the support of the Congress or make peace with us?" he asked.
He further criticised Kejriwal's recent remarks and accused him of aligning with the BJP. "What AAP's chief spokesman said today, that is nothing new. They gave statements against the Congress even on the day of the all-party meet." He also alleged that Kejriwal's motivations were driven by avoiding potential legal consequences. "The point is he (Kejriwal) does not want to go to jail, for which all preparations have been made since he had indulged in corruption."
Kejriwal had previously targeted Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot during a campaign rally in the state, where elections are scheduled to take place by the end of the year. He said: "When we were coming here, we saw Gehlot Saheb has put up his posters all over Ganganagar and around this stadium. I want to tell him that if he had worked for the last five years, he would not have to do this."
The two parties have been at odds since AAP displaced Congress from power nearly a decade ago, steadily growing at its expense. Following AAP's significant victory in Punjab last year, Kejriwal is now focusing on Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The task of bringing AAP and Congress together as part of a united opposition has proven to be a formidable challenge for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.