OPINION: Is Ajay Maken’s exit will make alliance between Congress-AAP in Delhi, a smooth affair?

Less than three months before the Lok Sabha elections 2019, veteran Congress leader Ajay Maken on Friday resigned as the party’s Delhi unit chief. Reportedly, he cited health reasons for quitting the grand old party.

After holding a meeting with Delhi Congress party affairs in-charge P C Chacko and Maken, on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accepted the resignation, reports further said.

Later, Maken took to Twitter to announce his resignation.

“After the 2015 Delhi assembly elections, as its Delhi unit president I received a lot of love from Congress workers, the media covering the party and our leader Rahul Gandhiji. It was not easy in these difficult times. Thank you all,” he tweeted.

Four years ago, Maken (54), had taken over as the Congress’ Delhi unit chief.

However, reports of him quitting the Congress party were not new. From past two-three months, there were rumours in the political corridors that he is planning to leave the party.

In an exclusive interview to me in November 2018, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit had said when I asked her:

Q) As per reports Congress party has begun the search for new chiefs for its party units in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai. What you have to say about this?

Sheila Dikshit: It is not some an extraordinary news. It is a continuous process, nobody holds any office permanently. Whenever high command feels that there is a need for change, they do it. (CLICK HERE to watch complete interview)

Is there something more than what meets the eyes? Is there more than “health reason” for Mr. Maken for leaving the Congress party?

Those who follow the political developments closely must be knowing that the relationship between Mr. Maken and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were never smooth. There have also been reports that he was uncomfortable with the Congress party entering into an alliance with the AAP for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

In December, Ajay Maken had slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government for ‘cheap politics’.

He had criticised the Delhi government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for passing a resolution in the state Assembly demanding former PM Rajiv Gandhi be stripped of the Bharat Ratna over his failure to stop the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

“Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life for the country, not even BJP has ever demanded to take back Bharat Ratna from him. Kejriwal should apologise and this portion of the resolution should be expunged from the assembly’s proceedings,” news agency ANI quoted Mr. Maken as saying.

However, it is learned that for keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power, the Congress party is planning to take the AAP on-board before the national polls.

Is Ajay Maken’s exit will make alliance between Congress-AAP in Delhi, a smooth affair?

Before the Lok Sabha elections 2019, if the Congress party joins hands with the AAP in Delhi, then it will definitely give the answer to the above question in affirmative.

About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason

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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of India TV.

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