Disgruntled Congress MLAs from Delhi, both former and current, poured out their grievances before the party’s senior leadership and pledged to stand by the “common man” in a meeting at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office on Saturday.
The meeting was called to formulate a strategy for the future and review the party’s rout in two consecutive elections held in the state. Until now, most party leaders, including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had maintained that the party’s failure to communicate to the people the Sheila government’s achievements led to the defeat. Dikshit was Delhi’s Chief Minister for three consecutive terms.
However, in Saturday’s meeting, members blamed dearer electricity tariff, irresponsible statements and the party’s distancing from its minority voters for the debacle. Some went on to say that the government performed well in the first 10 years, but that in its last five years, it was invisible on the ground, sources said.
“The reason why Muslims and SCs drifted away from the party was because tall promises were made and nothing concrete was done for the two communities,” a sitting MLA told Newsline. The legislator said that non-implementation of the Sacchar Committee report and lack of a support system for the minorities led to a division of votes between the Congress and the AAP.
MLAs also questioned the party’s support to the AAP despite the latter’s constant attack on the Congress. Legislative Party Leader Haroon Yusuf said, “We are going to expose the misdeeds of the AAP and the BJP. In future, we will not support the AAP and there is no question of supporting the BJP.”
The party has asked all its former MLAs to go back to their constituencies and “reconnect” with the people. Over the last few weeks, the party has been holding demonstrations in several parts of the city over price rise and power cuts and is likely to continue with the protests.
“Everyone had theories on why we lost the elections and some people had grievances also, but we have to look forward now and, we as a party, are ready for elections,” Yusuf said.