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AAP joins Opposition at fuel protests, but says not supporting Congress yet

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh and other party leaders shared the dais with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar and other opposition leaders at the Ramlila Grounds.

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 02:52:26

By HT Correspondent

Policemen lathi charge Congress workers taking part in the Bharat Bandh protests in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which till Sunday had distanced itself from the Congress-sponsored Bharat Bandh, joined the opposition parties on Monday to protest the rising fuel prices.

AAP leaders, however, said their in-principle support to the protest shouldn’t be seen as a support to the Congress.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh and other party leaders shared the dais with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar and other opposition leaders at the Ramlila Grounds.

While AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said all opposition parties must unite and force the Modi government to “reverse its anti-people policies”, he said the Congress can’t be the umbrella under which opposition parties can come together.



“The Congress cannot be the umbrella under which all opposition parties are comfortable. Congress has to shun its big brother and unreasonable attitude towards other parties... the AAP today lent its in-principle support to the protest against the rising prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. However, this should not be in any manner seen as support for the Congress,” he said.

On Sunday, Bharadwaj had tweeted, “Whether it’s fuel prices or it’s depreciating rupee Vs US dollar, Congress and BJP are so alike. Does Congress have moral high ground to call All India Bandh?” This had led to speculation that the ruling party in Delhi might not join the protest called by the Congress.

Explaining his party’s decision to join the protest, Sanjay Singh said, “Rising fuel prices, the Rafale deal, GST, etc., are issues that affect the entire country. We all have to come together to oppose the policies of this government, which has led to a serious economic crisis in the country. The price rise of petrol, diesel, etc., has a spiraling effect on prices of all commodities. It directly affects the people.”

Senior party leaders Dilip Pandey, Atishi, the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from east Delhi, along with party MLAs and senior leaders joined the protest called by left leaders at Jantar Mantar.

Refuting reports that the party had decided not to participate in the bandh, Atishi said, “There are larger issues like rising fuel prices, unemployment, etc., which needs to be addressed. We never said we will not participate in the protest.” 

First Published: Sep 11, 2018 02:52:26

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