In some boost to the Opposition for the much-anticipated Presidential election which is scheduled to happen on July 17, Aam Aadmi Party has finally taken a call and will lend its support to Congress led-17 parties nominee Meira Kumar, reported ANI citing sources. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led party’s decision to back Opposition came after a long wait as Congress left out AAP during opposition’s meetings for selection of the presidential candidate. It is also being said that party’s top decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), will soon conduct a meeting where official announcement of the same would be done.
The growing turf between the Congress and AAP has been the main reason behind the delay in Kejriwal’s decision. Even as 17 Opposition parties came together for the meetings, AAP was time and again cold shouldered by the Congress. However, senior opposition leaders including Mamata Banerjee and Sitaram Yechurya tried to bridge the gap between the two and even met the AAP convenor over the same. Speaking to India Today, a senior AAP functionary has said, “Not being a part of the meetings worked both ways. We did not miss being a part of the deliberations. As for our final choice, a PAC will formally decide who our elected representatives will vote for. What is certain is that we will vote.”
However, senior Opposition leaders such as CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee played conduits to keep the channel of communication open on both ends.
Though the AAP does not have a sizable vote share in the presidential elections, 9,000 votes is significant in symbolic terms. In total, AAP has 86 MLAs in Delhi and Punjab and has 4 members in the Lok Sabha. Its political ally in Punjab, the Lok Insaaf Party, has 2 MLAs in the assembly.