Delhi Aam Aadmi Party MLA Alka Lamba on Friday said she was willing to join the Congress party but was yet to receive a proposal, ANI reported. “The Congress has to decide that; an uninvited guest isn’t welcomed anywhere... it will be an honour for me [to go back] because I have given 20 years to the Congress,” she said.
Lamba was a member of the Congress party’s student wing, National Students’ Union of India, in the early 1990s, The Indian Express reported. She later joined the party and was made the general secretary of the All India Mahila Congress in 2002. She joined AAP in 2013 and two years later won the Chandni Chowk seat in the Delhi Assembly.
Lamba said it was clear that her party wanted to tie up with the Congress to beat the Bharatiya Janata Party. “I have always been opposed to the ideology of the BJP,” she said. “I joined AAP because I thought it was the party most capable of keeping the BJP out of power.”
She said the Congress has seen its fortunes revive, especially in Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi parliamentary constituencies. “If the AAP wants to align with the Congress, my joining the Congress cannot be the wrong decision,” she said.
Lamba also said the Congress had done well in the Assembly elections and formed the government in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. “The Congress can perform well in the coming Lok Sabha polls too,” she said. “So, to give strength to the party, we should come forward.”
Earlier this week, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had hinted there will be no alliance with the AAP in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections. Congress’ Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit had last week said there is unanimity in the party against an alliance with the AAP. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had claimed the Congress refused an alliance with the AAP because it has a “secret understanding” with the BJP.
The MLA from Chandni Chowk said that her party had completely exposed its weaknesses by begging the Congress for an alliance, “not just in Delhi but also in Punjab and Haryana”. Kejriwal on Wednesday had pitched for an alliance with the Opposition party in Haryana.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson PC Chacko told ANI that the party would “always welcome her”. “She was the president of NSUI,” he said. “There are many people who left the party on different occasions, when they come back we always welcome them.”
In December last year, Lamba had claimed she was asked by Kejriwal to resign from the party after she refused to support a proposal in the Delhi Assembly on revoking former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna. Lamba said she had opposed the resolution as she respected the former prime minister. She was also rebuked by the party for speaking to the media without asking what the party’s line on the issue was.
Lamba later hinted that the party had been excluding her from official discussions and had even removed her from their official WhatsApp groups.