Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

Cong brass in damage control after cracks in Delhi party unit

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Posted: July 17, 2014 2:32 am

With several reports of cracks within the Delhi unit of the Congress surfacing in the media, the party high command has stepped in to do damage control and prevent MLAs from jumping ship.

Sources said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has told the Delhi Congress leaders that their grievances will be addressed and asked them to look at “formulating a plan for the future”. The extent of the dissatisfaction of Congress MLAs became apparent during a stock-taking meeting on Saturday. Sources said several Delhi leaders were very vocal about their grievances and the party’s style of functioning.

The Assembly elections in 2013 saw the party retain only eight of its 43 seats. During the meeting, sources said questions regarding the possibility of a fracture within the party were also raised. Reasons for two successive humbling defeats — Assembly and Lok Sabha polls — were discussed.

Cost of electricity in the state, reckless statements by senior leaders and the party’s distance from Delhi’s minority voters were cited as some of the reasons for the Congress’s dismal performance. Senior leaders confirmed that the AICC will now be working closely with the DPCC to ensure that these issues are addressed.

“Promises were made to the Muslim and SC community in Delhi, but very little materialised. Now we have been assured by the senior leadership that these issues will be looked at,” a senior Congress leader said.

But while the Congress continues to maintain that there is simply no possibility of an alliance with either the BJP or the AAP, senior Congress leaders admitted that a split couldn’t be discounted. “It’s not off the cards yet. No one wants fresh elections in Delhi,” a leader said.

The party leadership has asked sitting MLAs and those who lost Assembly elections to return to their constituencies to “reconnect” with voters and put forward a united front. “We are completely prepared for fresh elections. The need of the hour is to look forward,” Congress Legislature Party leader Haroon Yusuf said.

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