AAP throws Googly

The possibility of a grand alliance among non-BJP parties, which was anticipated in the coming weeks or months, has faced another setback. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the Congress’ victory in Karnataka was due to their manifesto being based on the AAP manifesto, particularly referring to the five freebie guarantees. Kejriwal had remained silent about the Congress in recent months, but with the party’s success in a few urban local bodies in Uttar Pradesh, he has urged his party workers to prepare for bigger electoral battles in the future. Although Kejriwal was not invited to the Karnataka swearing-in ceremony, he has been seeking support from other parties against the Centre’s ordinance regarding control over services.
Jayant Chaudhary from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)ww had the distinction of being the sole leader to represent Uttar Pradesh at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar in Bengaluru. While his alliance partner in UP, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, was also invited, he chose to abstain. Chaudhary, despite being engaged in his Samarasata Yatra in Baghpat, cancelled all his commitments to attend the event. During the ceremony, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed gratitude for his presence. The RLD has consistently maintained a flexible approach towards the Congress, unlike the SP, which believes that the Congress should keep its distance from UP in accordance with the Mamata formula for a nationwide opposition alliance in 2024.
In a familiar pattern, Siddaramaiah, the newly appointed CM of Karnataka, has joined the list of Chief Ministers who have taken action against individuals criticising their government. This list includes prominent names such as Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Pinarayi Vijayan, Nitish Kumar, Uddhav Thackeray (during his tenure as CM), and others. Interestingly, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had expressed in March that those posting posters against him should not face arrest, following the appearance of anti-Kejriwal posters across Delhi. In the recent incident in Karnataka, which occurred on the day Siddaramaiah assumed office, a school teacher was suspended shortly after sharing a post on social media.

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