It is interesting to note that Alka Lamba was a Congress member for 20 years before she joined AAP.
What started as a discussion over the Congress manifesto released by Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday snowballed into a full fledged Twitter war between two sitting MLAs of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. The two AAP leaders – Alka Lamba and Saurabh Bharadwaj — indulged in an ugly fight with Bharadwaj asking Alka Lamba to return to Congress and Lamba responding with a backhanded insult.
The spat also threw light on inner party differences over the proposed alliance between the AAP and Congress with Alka Lamba raising questions on the possibility of a tie-up between both parties when both have diverging views on election issues.
It all began with Lamba’s Twitter post on the Congress manifesto. “In its manifesto, Congress talks about giving full statehood to Puducherry, but has not said anything about Delhi in that regard. This makes it clear that for Congress giving full statehood to Delhi is not important. AAP, on the other hand, is making this its main issue. How will an alliance be formed?”
Saurabh Bharadwaj apparently did not appreciate her post and tagged Lamba’s tweet, writing, “What do you want? Full statehood or…”
Responding to the jibe, the Chandni Chowk MLA wrote, “How does it make a difference what I want … The time to ask this question is over… now the people of Delhi will decide.”
Greater Kailash legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj then shared a video with Lamba slamming the Congress and the BJP over the issue of full statehood to Delhi. Lamba replied, “People of my constituency have been saying that she should let AAP try and make efforts but if the Congress does not listen to AAP, she should take a decision in favour of the country to defeat the BJP.” This happened when AAP was conducting a survey in her assembly on why they should not vote for the Congress.
Bharadwaj then went further and wrote, “Then show some strength, go to Congress party.”
Lamba responded saying that Bharadwaj should join her at Jama Masjid at 3 pm on Wednesday to ask people if she should join Congress or not. Bharadwaj reverted with a new post saying that he will also be participating in the meeting. Lamba is conducting a referendum near Jama Masjid to seek people’s opinion if she should join the Congress.
छोटे भाई, धोखा मत दो बड़ी बहन को,
यह आदत अब बदल लो,
वचन दिया है,अब कल 3 बजे ,जामा मस्जिद गेट नंबर 1 पर पहुँच जाना।
थूक कर चाटने की आदत तो भाजपाइयों की है, आप को यह शोभा नही देता।
कल मुझे छोटे भाई सौरव का इंतज़ार रहेगा।
शुभ रात्रि ????.
जय हिंद !!! https://t.co/hz7iezCgOZ
— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) April 2, 2019
It is interesting to note that Alka Lamba was a Congress member for 20 years before she joined AAP. A few weeks ago, Lamba spoke about returning to the Congress, and said, “I have not received any proposal from Congress. I have given 20 years to Congress out of my 25 years in politics.”
She added, “When Congress and BJP used to fight in Delhi, people stopped BJP from forming a government in the state for 15 years. People were again looking for an option to defeat the BJP and Arvind Kejriwal did that.”
“Now the talks are about the country. I have been seeing how Congress had done well in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh… Congress can perform well in the coming Lok Sabha polls. So, to give strength to the party, we should now come forward,” she added, kickstarting speculation about her joining the party.
In February as well, both Lamba and Bharadwaj fought over Lamba claiming that AAP cheif Kejriwal had stopped following her on Twitter.
Lamba had also claimed that she was ousted from an AAP WhatsApp group in February. She said, “I have a strong feeling that the party does not need my services at all.”
In December 2018, reports had surfaced that she was asked to leave AAP which the party later refuted. It is said that she opposed a resolution in the Delhi assembly which sought to withdraw the Bharat Ratna to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The AAP later clarified that it was just an amendment added to the original resolution by AAP legislator Somnath Bharti that sought to withdraw the award, but the resolution was not passed.