DC Edit | Congress, at last, shows some sense
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Finally, it appears the Congress Party has woken up to some sense on the issue of opposing the Delhi services bill that seeks to nullify the impact of the Supreme Court order handing over the supervisory power of bureaucracy in Delhi to its elected government. The realisation that giving in to the cantankerous and myopic insistence of its Delhi unit on this critical issue would go against the very federal principles on which this country is founded and will weaken forever the party’s position against constitutional overreach by governments is reflected in the party spokesperson’s words that the party will stand against any assault on the federal structure by the Narendra Modi government.
In fact, the Congress has gone far beyond opposing the Delhi bill and covered the desecration of the Constitution at the hands of governors in Opposition-ruled states when it said it will stand against the Union government and its representatives wherever democratically elected state governments or local bodies face attacks.
As the principal Opposition party, the Congress should have lost no time in condemning the move to undermine the elected government in the national capital territory but it equivocated. While the Congress is opposed to gubernatorial excesses and misuse of Central agencies in states where it rules, the party is less than consistent in its condemnation of the Centre in states where it is in the Opposition, such as in Kerala.
The Delhi services bill is a test case and the Congress has realised that supporting it will not only go against the spirit of the times but can also torpedo the Opposition unity platform the party has been painstakingly building. The Aam Aadmi Party leadership which travelled across the country seeking support for its position opposing the bill was categorical that the Congress cannot expect it to be part of the Opposition movement if the party supported the BJP on this crucial question.
The Congress must have realised that supporting the AAP will buy the confidence of not just the AAP but also other Opposition parties. It is incumbent on the GOP to take such decisions to occupy the central position in Opposition unity efforts. The AAP’s decision to attend the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru on Sunday owes its origin directly to the Congress’ decision to oppose the bill and thereby remove an irritant to a fuller Opposition unity.