After saying that it would not support the Congress’s call for a countrywide shut down to protest rising fuel prices, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday lent their support to the cause, with AAP leaders sharing the stage at a protest by Congress leadership here.
Top leaders reach out
On Sunday, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had said the party would not participate in the Bharat bandh called by the Congress and Left parties on Monday. He had said the AAP would hold its own protests against the increasing fuel prices.
However, AAP sources said two top Congress leaders — Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad — had reached out to AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh late on Sunday night to seek the party’s support. As a result, Mr. Singh and AAP MLA from Malviya Nagar Somnath Bharti joined the protest by the Congress and other parties at Rajghat, and shared the stage with Congress president Rahul Gandhi among others.
Also joins CPI(M) rally
Apart from that, another AAP leader, Atishi Marlena, joined the protest by the CPI(M) at Jantar Mantar.
In a statement issued by Mr. Bharadwaj on Monday evening, the AAP said it was of the view that all Opposition parties should come together in order to pressure the Narendra Modi government to reverse the policies that led to the hike in fuel prices. “However, the Congress cannot be the umbrella under which all Opposition parties are comfortable. Congress has to shun its big brother and unreasonable attitude towards other parties,” the AAP said.
Further, the statement said the “in-principle support to the protest” should not be seen as support for the Congress.
While Opposition parties have been coming together ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the AAP and the Congress in Delhi have been at loggerheads. Leaders of both parties have denied any chance of an alliance.
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