Days after ‘informal discussions’ of alliance, Congress leaders give Arvind Kejriwal’s iftar party a miss

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has reportedly hosted an iftar party in the lawns of Palika Services Officer’s Institute in Chanakyapuri yesterday. According to reports, even though they were invited, Congress leaders and Delhi bureaucrats did not attend the party.

Only four of his ministers were reportedly accompanying Kejriwal. They were Satyendra Jain, Gopal Rai, Imran Hussein and Manish Sisodia. Some of his MLAs were also present but many were reportedly absent. Ministers Rajendra Pal Gautam and Kailash Gehlot were also reportedly absent. It is notable here that Kejriwal and his government has always been at loggerheads with the bureaucracy and the differences only intensified after an alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by Kejriwal’s MLAs at his residence a couple of months ago.

According to reports, AAP sources have stated that even central government representatives in Delhi were invited ‘according to protocol’ but none of them turned up. Usually, the Vice President, Delhi Lieutenant Governor, opposition leaders, MPs and even diplomats are invited to the party. In the past, Congress leaders like Sheila Dikshit, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, Pakistan High Commissioner and senior leaders of other parties had joined Kejriwal’s Iftar parties. This year, though there were decent arrangements as per reports, the absence of prominent faces was quite noticeable.

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Kejriwal reportedly addressed his party men saying that he believes God will help his party overcome all the obstacles because his ‘intentions are good’.

The absence of Congress leaders from Kejriwal’s Iftar party comes hours after it was reported that the AAP and Congress have begun their informal talks for a possible alliance ahead of 2019 general elections. AAP leader Dilip K Pandey had claimed that senior Congress leaders have sought AAP’s co-operation in Haryana, Delhi and Punjab. Both parties are expected to finalise some sort of agreement between them to consolidate anti-BJP votes. Rebel AAP leader Kapil Mishra had claimed in the past that Kejriwal will stab his Punjab party workers in the back and vacate Punjab for Congress while Congress will let AAP have Delhi.

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