Updated: June 20, 2019 9:45:35 am
Cracks within the Congress’s Delhi unit appear to have widened, with demands for replacing party chief Sheila Dikshit or Delhi in-charge of the Congress P C Chacko gaining momentum. Concerned over the developments, the party’s central unit has reached out to several senior leaders, seeking their views on the state unit.
According to sources, the Delhi unit is now divided into two groups — one supporting Dikshit, and the other Chacko.
“Discussions on the party’s future strategy for the upcoming Assembly polls have begun. The party’s performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections, along with the unit head’s participation, will be considered by top leaders before taking any decision,” said a senior leader.
Another leader said Dikshit met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Wednesday. “We hear the party president is planning to make changes… Chacko may be replaced as we have lost many elections during his tenure,” he said.
While Chacko did not respond to calls seeking a comment, Dikshit said: “All such talks are going on but until something happens, I can’t say anything.”
The Congress climbed to the second position in the Lok Sabha polls in the capital last month, as compared to the previous elections.
On Monday, in a letter to Gandhi, ex-chairman of the erstwhile Delhi Metropolitan Council, Purushottam Goyal, asked for Dikshit’s removal and suggested that the party contest Assembly polls next year with a “fresh face” at the helm. On the other hand, another Congress leader Rohit Manchanda demanded Chacko’s resignation over the poll drubbing.
“The party’s future depends on his (Gandhi’s) decision. We need to seriously assess reasons behind the party’s defeat. Once he takes back his resignation, the decision on all four states where Assembly polls are due will be taken,” said another senior leader.
Meanwhile, a five-member panel formed by Dikshit to analyse the reasons behind the Lok Sabha defeat submitted its report Wednesday. The panel, comprising ex-MP Parvez Hashmi, former ministers Dr A K Walia and Dr Yoganand Shastri, AICC national spokesperson Pawan Khera and ex-MLA Jai Kishan, was formed on May 27.
The decision to form the committee ran into trouble after many candidates questioned the choice of committee members and did not participate in any discussions.
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