Delhi MLA Alka Lamba asked to resign from AAP following differences over Rajiv Gandhi resolution

New Delhi: On Friday, the Aam Admi Party(AAP) denied passing a state assembly resolution apparently aimed at withdrawing late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna over his failure to curb the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The party leadership soon asked AAP MLA Alka Lamba to resign as she stood against the resolution.

Lamba said she was ready to face “any consequences” and claimed she spoke to AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Kejriwal who asked her to resign. “I am ready to do so”, she said. Lamba took to Twitter and said, “I was asked to support the resolution demanding taking back the Bharat Ratna awarded to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Since I didn’t agree to this, I staged a walk out. I am ready to accept whatever punishment given to me.”

https://twitter.com/LambaAlka/status/1076169781324251136

“Party has asked for my resignation. I’m ready to resign but Rajiv Gandhi has sacrificed a lot for the country and I didn’t support the proposal in Delhi Assembly of taking back his Bharat Ratna. I’ve been asked to resign because I stood against the decision of the party,” Lamba told ANI.

The withdrawal was reportedly passed as an amendment to a resolution seeking justice for victims of the Delhi riots. The party issued a clarification saying that the portion relating to the former PM cannot be considered a part of the resolution because it was “handwritten”.

“Lines about the late Rajiv Gandhi were not part of the resolution placed before the house and distributed among members. One MLA in his handwriting proposed an addition/amendment about the late Rajiv Gandhi. Amendments cannot be passed in this manner,” tweeted party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj.

Terming the anti-Sikh riots as one of the worst genocides in the national capital’s history, the resolution noted that “justice continues to elude” the families of the victims.

But soon after Bhardwaj’s remarks, Singh said it was only a technical shortcoming. According to him although the reference to Gandhi in the resolution was not there in the written copies, it was made orally and passed by the House by voice vote.

After Bharadwaj’s tweet, Jarnail Singh said, “At the last moment Somnath Bharti (MLA) gave me the third point about Rajiv Gandhi. The technical issue is that the third point was not there in the copies distributed to the members of the House. But everything happened on record despite the technical shortcoming.”

As the controversy raged, Bharti said the reference to Gandhi “was not part of the passed resolution” as the amendment was not put to vote separately. The party had no opportunity to see the same, he tweeted.

The development comes at a time when there are speculations of possibility of an alliance between the AAP and the Congress in Delhi for Lok Sabha Elections 2019.