The Delhi unit of the Congress Party was left red-faced after its Delhi Election Campaign Committee chief Kirti Azad tweeted out a welcome message for Nirbhaya’s mother. “Welcome to Congress,” Azad wrote on Twitter.
"ऐ मां तुझे सलाम"— Kirti Azad (@KirtiAzaad) January 17, 2020
आशा देवी जी आपका स्वागत है https://t.co/XovQXVsLp9
Not only that, but Azad also fanned speculations that Asha Devi could be contesting against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi constituency. At one point of time during those heady minutes, News 18 even quoted Azad as saying that Asha Devi could be the party’s CM candidate for the upcoming elections.
However, the Delhi Congress President Subhash Chopra clarified through Twitter minutes later that the party hadn’t taken any decision to get Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi onboard.
“Although Congress party welcomes all who wants to join it, I would like to state that no such development (the speculation of Nirbhaya’s mother contesting on a Congress ticket) has been brought to my notice,” Chopra, a veteran of Delhi Congress, said.
काँग्रेस पार्टी में हमेशा सबका स्वागत होता है, लेकिन चुनावी माहौल में टिकट के वितरण के मामले में बिना किसी पुष्टी के यदि कोई समाचार आ रहा है, मैं इस संबंध मे ये स्पष्ट करना चाहता हूँ की मेरी इस विषय मे किसी से कोई बात नही हुई है।— Subhash Chopra (@SChopraINC) January 17, 2020
Another egg on the face of Azad was delivered by Asha Devi, who, while speaking to reporters on the row, said that she didn’t harbour any political ambitions. “I just want justice for my daughter,” she was quoted as saying.
Kejriwal jumps in
Taking a cue from the public row, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accused union minister Prakash Javadekar of “misguiding” her for political reasons. The PTI reported Kejriwal denying the claim that the Delhi government had been delaying the hanging of the four accused. On Thursday, Asha Devi had reportedly accused the Delhi government of postponing the execution of the four convicts of the December 16 gangrape-and-murder case.
Several news publications reported on Thursday that the Delhi government had told the Delhi High Court to delay the execution of four death row convicts as one of their mercy pleas were pending before the court.
A two-way fight in Delhi
The controversy around Nirbhaya’s mother joining Congress may further dent the party’s public perception ahead of the February 8 vote. Already, the party figures nowhere among the preferred choices of Delhi voters, as per a survey published this week.
Kejriwal, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party chief, got 67.6 per cent of the votes in the IANS-CVoter Delhi poll tracker. The survey was aimed at gauging as to who the Delhi voters wanted to be their next chief minister.
The other option in the list was Union Minister and BJP MP Harshvardhan, who was the choice of 11.9 per cent people, IANS reported.
The vote share percentage was in single digits for a Congress leader (1.3 per cent), other BJP leader (8.8 per cent), other AAP leader (1.4 per cent) and nine per cent for others.
People were asked the question between November 11, 2019, and January 14 this year.
(with IANS inputs)
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