For the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC), Jawaharlal Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary came at an opportune time. The party started off its celebrations a day earlier and used the occasion to kick off its election campaign.
Party workers cheered Sonia and Rahul as they attacked the “angry people who are running the country” in their speech. After the party’s decimation in two consecutive elections in the state (Assembly and Lok Sabha) — it had just eight MLAs and no MPs — the Congress is hoping to make a comeback. Delhi Congress Chief Arvinder Singh Lovely had earlier stated that the party is hoping to increase its vote share to at least 35 per cent from 25 in the last election.
Lovely reminded the gathering of the recent communal violence in the capital as the party vowed to “fight those dismantling Nehru’s India”.
The Congress president told workers that at such a time, “Nehru would have wanted us to come together, to go to people and listen to them and be part of their sorrows and joy.”
However, despite this being the formal launch of the Congress’s election campaign, many party MLAs were missing from the function. A faction in the party has been vying for greater involvement of former CM Sheila Dikshit in its campaign.
As the head of the Congress’s committee planning events around Nehru’s birth anniversary, Dikshit administered the oath to party workers to continue Nehru’s mission in all their future endeavours.
The Congress is set to launch a membership drive across the city. The party leaders urged its frontal organisations such as the Seva Dal and Youth Congress to reach out to residents and remind them of the development during the 15 years of Congress rule.