AAP Cites Rahul Gandhi’s Hug for PM Narendra Modi, Says Will Boycott Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Poll
AAP MP Sanjay Singh said party will neither back NDA nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh nor support opposition candidate BK Hariprasad in elections to the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman.
New Delhi: The election for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman on Thursday is yet another test of opposition unity against the NDA, but division in the ranks is apparent with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saying it will boycott the poll.
According to AAP MP Sanjay Singh, party chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has rejected his Bihar counterpart and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar's request to support NDA nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh as he has the backing of the BJP.
The AAP will also not back opposition candidate BK Hariprasad, saying Congress president Rahul Gandhi has not sought the party’s support. The Kejriwal-led party "has no option but to boycott the poll", Singh said.
"If they (the Congress) ask for our vote, we will oblige. It is meaningless to vote compulsively (for the Congress), if they do not need it," Singh told reporters.
Later, he tweeted: "Nitish Kumar ji spoke to Arvind Kejriwal ji, seeking support for JD(U) candidate. Since he is a BJP-backed nominee, it is not possible to support him. Rahul Gandhi ji does not want support for his candidate... then AAP has no option, but to boycott the poll (sic)."
@NitishKumar जी ने @ArvindKejriwal जी से फ़ोन पर बात करके अपने प्रत्याशी के लिये समर्थन माँगा,भाजपा समर्थित JDU प्रत्याशी को वोट देना सम्भव नही, @RahulGandhi जी को अपनी पार्टी के लिये वोट नही चाहिये तो AAP के पास बहिष्कार के सिवा कोई रास्ता नही।— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) August 8, 2018
Kumar and Kejriwal had canvassed for each other in Assembly polls in their respective states in 2015. However, ties soured after Kumar dumped the UPA to rejoin the NDA.
"If Rahul Gandhi can hug Narendra Modi, why cannot he ask Arvind Kejriwal to support his party's candidate?" Singh asked.
Terming the Congress a "mean-spirited" party, Singh said the AAP voted in favour of its candidates in the elections for president and vice-president, even without being asked for it.
"We voted in favour of their candidates in the elections for President and Vice President but they did not even had the courtesy to say thank you… The AAP supported the Congress on many occasions, including during the political crisis in Goa, Uttarkhand and Mizoram, but has only received opposition in return," Singh alleged.
"They distributed sweets when 20 of our MLAs in Delhi were disqualified. All opposition parties supported us during Kejriwal's dharna at the L-G office barring the Congress," he said.
The AAP has three MPs from Delhi in the Rajya Sabha.
(With PTI inputs)