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Will Mamata Join Hands With CPM in Bengal? Maken Responds to Clamour for Supporting Kejriwal

Maken also took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre and the Delhi government, saying the current deadlock suited both the sides.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:June 18, 2018, 1:52 PM IST
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Will Mamata Join Hands With CPM in Bengal? Maken Responds to Clamour for Supporting Kejriwal
File photo of senior Congress leader Ajay Maken. (PTI)
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New Delhi: Under attack from regional satraps for breaking ranks to oppose Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residence, Congress has challenged Mamata Banerjee to join hands with the CPM in West Bengal.

“As far as show of strength is concerned, would [West Bengal Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee and CPM come together in the state?” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken told News18 on being asked to respond to the chief ministers of West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh showing solidarity with the AAP convener.

“The chief ministers who came to visit have no stake in Delhi, neither do they have any solid stand. I don’t think they have been briefed properly. Delhi is a Union Territory. The powers of a CM in a state are way different than what a CM has in the national capital,” he added.

The four CMs, on the sidelines of the NITI Aayog meeting, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Sunday and sought the Centre’s intervention to end the impasse between the AAP and the Lieutenant Governor.

Despite its growing bonhomie with regional parties, Congress has been restrained in responding to recent overtures by the AAP.

At present, the AAP has a significant presence only in Punjab and Delhi where it competes with the Congress to wrest control of the vote bank.

Kejriwal, in a tweet last month, had praised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid reports that a section of the Congress was pushing for a pre-poll alliance with the party for the 2019 general elections.

Maken also took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre and the Delhi government, saying the current deadlock suited both the sides.

“The situation, as we see it right now, suits both the BJP and the AAP. It diverts attention from their respective failures. The L-G allowing the Delhi CM and his ministers to protest for more than four days outside his office in itself is a matter of concern,” he said, adding that the AAP did not want to learn the art of governance.

Kejriwal’s protest against the alleged strike by IAS officers entered the eighth day on Monday.

Several IAS officers came together on Sunday to level counter allegations against the Delhi government, saying they were afraid about the lack of security.

Kejriwal said he would ensure security for the bureaucrats as they are his “family”.

“An assault on a senior IAS officer is something that we had not heard of so far and that has happened. Since Kejriwal is calling the IAS officers his family, then as head of the family, it is his responsibility to keep everyone together,” Maken said, adding that during the Congress rule in Delhi, the party had faced worse situations.

“There was a time when we got to know from the newspapers that the transport secretary had been changed. But we still worked with him and fulfilled our duties,” the senior Congress leader said.

Maken added that if a minister takes a policy decision, there is no reason for any IAS officer to say no to it and replacing officers is never a solution.

“All officers are good as long as you get the work done from them. Problem is when the minister wants to get something illegal done. If the IAS officers are not working, then the government needs to find the reason behind it and that reason can’t be political. No officer is affiliated to any political party,” he said.
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