Divisions in Congress today came out in open over its support to Aam Aadmi Party to form government in Delhi but there were indications that the party will not rush into withdrawing support immediately.
Reflecting the unease within the Congress over the move to support Arvind Kejriwal's party, general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, "There is also an opinion that perhaps the decision to support AAP in this manner was not correct. Some people feel this." He added "We have given our support to AAP. We expect that AAP delivers good results, works on its manifesto and do good for people."
However, a senior party functionary ruled out any immediate move to withdraw the letter of support given to the Lieutenant Governor.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel said in Ahmedabad, "in an organisation, there are different voices but right now our support is for Aam Admi Party...we will see what happens later."
The remarks of the senior party leaders came a day after scores of Congress supporters held a demonstration outside the DPCC office against the party's decision to extend outside support to AAP to form the government in Delhi.
Ever since AAP decided to form a government in Delhi with Congress support, the leaders of Congress have been repeatedly emphasising that their support to AAP is not unconditional.
Sections in the party view that supporting AAP, which is hitting out at Congress day in and day out and threatening to book its leaders and order probes against them, makes the party look poor in people's eyes.
Moreover there is a view that Congress was caught napping as the leaders, who favoured supporting AAP to form government, were of the belief that Kejriwal will avoid staking claim to power.
A senior party leader said that even if Congress had to support AAP, it should have done like the Left did for UPA-I, forcing its say in programmes and policies of the government. "Their argument is that Delhi voters have not given their support to Congress to the extent that even the Leader of Opposition will not be from Congress party. We were placed at the third position. Perhaps, it would have been appropriate for Congress to say that it is not our responsibility to form or not form a government.
"Voters did not expect this from us. Whoever has to form a government should do it with support from whomsoever they want to. We will keep playing the role of an opposition in the limited circumstances and will keep raising our voice against people's problems, for development works and wherever there is any injustice. We will keep playing our role as a responsible party," Dwivedi said.
The Congress General Secretary, however at the same time said, "Since now a proposal (to support AAP) has already been made, we have to carry on with that as well. Perhaps we will have to find out a middle path."
Claiming that the Congress government in Delhi in the last 15 years changed the face of the city, Dwivedi said, "Despite this voters did not accept us, then it's time for us to introspect within ourselves that why did this happened after all."
He added, "we will examine our work style, our vision and plug the loopholes, whichever were left and strengthen our party organisation and regain the confidence of the people. It is not our duty to see who forms government or not. This is indeed a thinking within the party."
In this condition, Dwivedi said, that Congress could have better played the role of opposition and continued to raise the issues of people like a responsible opposition.
He parried a question whether Congress could withdraw support to AAP later, saying Congress does not follow an extremist approach "and those organisations and parties which follow an extremist approach do not meet a good end".
As conflicting voices emerged in the Congress over the issue, BJP hit out at both AAP and Congress alleging that they were collaborating to form government in a "self- serving" exercise with "dishonourable" motive.
It said this was happening as Congress wants a breather and fears another electoral humiliation while AAP was keen to prevent its MLAs from getting "scattered".