As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) prepares to form the government in Delhi, there is a big question mark on its longevity. The Congress is learnt to be looking at a “four to six months” window to pull the plug if the AAP fails to implement its manifesto promises, especially about halving power tariff and providing 700 litres of free water to every household per day.
“The AAP has promised that they will complete auditing of discoms in three months and bring down electricity bills by 50 per cent within four months after coming to power. We have supported them to implement their promises within the time frame set by them. We are free to exercise our options if they fail to do so,” a senior Congress functionary told Newsline.
Congress sources said the party would not support any move to cut power bills through subsidies as the AAP had alleged “loot” by discoms and promised to expose irregularities through audits.
“You cannot take the subsidy route. It will be tantamount to cheating taxpayers and hoodwinking voters,” a Congress leader said.
On Monday, former CM Sheila Dikshit clarifed that her party’s support was “not unconditional” and Congress would support the AAP government as long as it delivered.
As for other manifesto promises, Delhi Congress leaders said they were prepared for “any fair inquiry” against the Chief Minister or any ministers of the previous Congress regime. They added that the party would review its support if “there is any hint of vendetta”.
Hours after the AAP staked claim to form the government on Monday, a section of Delhi Congress leaders, including some MLAs, approached Central leaders demanding that the party should “give an ultimatum” to Arvind Kejriwal to fulfil his manifesto promises “within a time limit”.
Their argument was that the AAP leaders were using “invectives” against Congress and they “are not ready to be humiliated” despite supporting the government.
They are likely to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi shortly to press for their demand.
This expression of outrage, however, appeared to be an after-thought as the Congress leadership did not seem to have a plan when they had announced their support to AAP government.
Sources said the party high command had decided to extend support due to an assessment that a re-election could either give a clear majority to the AAP or go to