Rahul Gandhi Ends Silence On Delhi Deadlock, Targets PM, Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal, who is on a sit-in protest at the house of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for more than a week, has been severely criticised by the Congress leaders

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Rahul Gandhi accused PM Narendra Modi of "turning a blind eye" to the "anarchy" in Delhi.

New Delhi:  Congress chief Rahul Gandhi broke his silence today about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's sit-in protest and the resulting impasse in Delhi. While the main target was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his party and the Chief Minister both were mentioned as ingredients in what he called "anarchy". Even the bureaucrats, who made their grievances public at a rare press conference on Sunday, got a mention in the tweet.
 
This is the first time Mr Gandhi has referred to the week-long protest by the Delhi Chief Minister at the house of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The leaders of the party -- which got wiped out by AAP in the 2015 assembly elections after three terms in power -- have heaped criticism on Mr Kejriwal. The list of detractors not only includes state party chief Ajay Maken but also former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

AAP attacked the Congress president. The party's lawmaker Sanjay Singh said Mr Gandhi was speaking the "language of BJP" and challenged him to ask his Delhi unit's leaders to go on hunger strike for even two days. AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said instead of listening to Congress state unit chief Ajay Maken, Mr Gandhi should talk to his elected Puducherry chief minister.

The stance of the Congress has placed it far apart from the other opposition parties when efforts are on to build a common front to oust the BJP from power in next year's general elections.

Most opposition parties, and even BJP allies Shiv Sena and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United, have rallied behind Mr Kejriwal.

The matter has seen longtime rivals like Mamata Banerjee and the CPM on the same side. While Ms Banerjee, along with three other Chief Ministers, appealed to PM Modi yesterday to intervene in the issue, CPM cadres took part in yesterday's AAP protest and its senior leader Sitaram Yechury accused the government of undermining the principles of federalism.

The Congress chief minister of Puducherry, V Narayanasamy, who has similar complaints against Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, also sounded positive about the protest.

The Aam Aadmi Party -- which has accused PM Modi of exacting vengeance against it for losing in the 2015 assembly elections -- has accused the Congress of being the "B Team" of the BJP.

Mr Kejriwal -- who started his protest on the evening of June 11  --  has accused Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Centre of backing the IAS officers, who, he says, have been on strike sinec February. He has also started a campaign demanding full statehood for Delhi, which would give its elected government control over some crucial issues, including land and police.

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