Cong backs AAP for now; but hopes it will shoot itself in foot

Notwithstanding the apparent opposition from the camp of Delhi's outgoing chief minister Sheila Dikshit and her camp, her Congress party seems firm on supporting an Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party government at least for the time being, though it clearly hopes that the fledgling party will shoot itself in the foot with its tall promises.

Following Dikshit's meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her camp got the message loud and clear, as Sheila's son Sandeep Dikshit, a Lok Sabha MP and a spokesperson for the Congress, said the party will stand by its decision to support the AAP – but set a deadline of three months for the new government to deliver on its promises.

"There is angst among a section of party workers over lending support to AAP,'' Sandeep Dikshit said. ''A lot of our workers and leaders have been feeling that we need not support (AAP) especially after the string of abuses (against the outgoing Congress leaders) that AAP leaders made in public."

But he said that there is clearly no going back on the issue of Congress support to the AAP for government formation, which is based on the new party's manifesto. "We are supporting the manifesto of AAP at least in the coming time or whatever we have committed to the Lieutenant Governor. The party will stand by it," Dikshit said.

According to one report, party leaders rule out any political misadventure that might boomerang on the Congress; and add that the extension of outside support for the AAP is part of its poll strategy for the 2014 elections.

Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi came out with statements on Tuesday evening to explain that the leadership did not endorse slogan shouting outside the Delhi Congress office or the burning Kejriwal's effigy.