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Opposition Minus Congress Backs Kejriwal as Dharna Poses First Big Challenge to Unity

Turning the AAP dharna into another show of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party and the central government, several opposition parties — other than the Congress — have extended their support to Arvind Kejriwal.

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Updated:June 15, 2018, 6:26 PM IST
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Opposition Minus Congress Backs Kejriwal as Dharna Poses First Big Challenge to Unity
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders. (Image via Twitter)
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New Delhi: Though AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal often finds himself a pariah in the political mainstream of the country, his ongoing sit-in protest as the chief minister of the national capital has earned him support from across political lines — so much so that it has even prompted actor-politician Kamal Haasan to draw parallels between the situations in Delhi and Puducherry.

Kejriwal grabbed the opportunity and said that he stands for “full statehood” for both Delhi and Puducherry governments. However, even this could not draw the sympathies or support of the Congress that runs the government in Puducherry and is often at loggerheads with L-G Kiran Bedi.

Turning the dharna into another show of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party and the central government, several opposition parties — other than the Congress — have extended their support to Kejriwal and his demands of calling an end to IAS officers’ strike at the Delhi government.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan even wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter and a solution to the issues being brought up by Kejriwal.

Vijayan said there are disquieting reports that the Centre was actually providing patronage and protection to sabotage the work of an elected state government belonging to an opposition party and that this would not do any good to the image of the country.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, said that the elected chief minister of Delhi should be given his due respect.

Even former NDA ally and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu tweeted his support on Friday. Earlier, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan, too, backed up Kejriwal. The AAP leader also found support in JMM chief Hemant Soren.

However, going against the grain of the larger opposition, Congress, led by former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit has called out the AAP ministers and asked them to “first read the Constitution”.

Dikshit said the role of the Delhi Lt Governor and the chief minister is defined in the Constitution and wondered why AAP leaders were protesting at Lt Governor Anil Baijal's office since Monday.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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