- Alka Lamba said the people will help decide on her next course of action
- People don't favour AAP's idea of full statehood for Delhi, she added
- She had earlier indulged in a war of tweets with Saurabh Bharadwaj
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Alka Lamba today declared that she was not averse to backing the Congress against the BJP nominee in Delhi's Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency as long as the people want it. "AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had confessed in front of the Jama Masjid that his party cannot defeat the BJP without an alliance with the Congress. I will ask my people whom I should stand with -- AAP or the Congress -- in order to defeat the BJP," news agency ANI quoted Ms Lamba as saying.
The legislator's statement came a day after she and AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj indulged in a war of tweets on social media over allying with the Congress at the cost of the party's "full statehood" demand for Delhi. The altercation began after Ms Lamba questioned how a grand Congress-AAP alliance can happen when the other opposition party did not even mention the statehood issue in its manifesto released yesterday.
In her interview with ANI, she alleged that AAP was not taking up the discussion on full statehood for Delhi in a democratic manner. "It's my stand that the people don't favour the idea of full statehood being put forward by AAP," the news agency quoted the legislator as saying. "I will ask my people with whom I should stand -- AAP or Congress -- so their candidate can defeat the BJP candidate."
Ms Lamba, who started her political career as a student leader, was a part of the Congress until she quit to join AAP in 2014.
The legislator questioned Mr Bharadwaj's right to seek her resignation, and claimed that he was "attacking her" with the party's backing. "This is not the first time, because even Arvind Kejriwal had asked for my resignation earlier. But the next day, Manish Sisodia said that nobody has made any such demand from me," she said, adding that her decision will be based solely on the views of the people.
Full statehood for the national capital has been a long-standing demand of the AAP government. Mr Kejriwal, who is also the Delhi Chief Minister, even threatened to enter Prime Minister Narendra Modi's house and stage a dharna to push for the demand recently.
Although Delhi has an elected government, many of its functions --- including law-and-order -- are controlled by the central government. The Chief Minister has often complained about civil services officials playing truant because his government is powerless to act against them.
(With inputs from ANI)