Updated: October 13, 2019 9:00:45 am
A day after some Congress leaders held a press conference demanding resignation of AICC in-charge P C Chacko for allegedly leaking a letter written to him by former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son and former Lok Sabha MP Sandeep Dikshit, a section of district presidents Saturday wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi requesting her to take action against the leaders.
On Friday, exposing the factional feud within the Delhi unit of the party, the leaders had sought Chacko’s removal and demanded that a committee be formed to probe the alleged leak. In the letter, Sandeep is learnt to have written that Chacko caused mental agony to Sheila in her last days, which led to her sudden demise.
The press conference was addressed by senior leaders Kiran Walia, Ramakant Goswami, Jitender Singh Kochhar, Mangat Ram Singhal and Rohit Manchanda, who blamed Chacko for creating differences in the party.
Saturday’s letter, written against these leaders, states: “With the Delhi Assembly elections only a few months away, such indiscipline in the party will affect its prospects. We are the grassroots workers and therefore request you to take strong action against those who held a press conference to defame the party leadership.”
“Though these leaders never participated in demonstrations, dharnas and other activities in the last five years, they become active before an election in Delhi to create rift among party workers. The vote share in the municipal elections had improved under the leadership of the then party chief Ajay Maken. If such indiscipline in the party is not nipped in the bud, it will affect the party’s chance in Assembly elections,” the letter further states.
When contacted, party spokesperson Jitender Singh Kochhar claimed signatures of district presidents had been forged in the letter. But Hari Kishan Jindal, district committee president of Adarsh Nagar, told The Sunday Express: “We have written the letter… If the leaders wanted to say anything about any leader, they should have spoken on the right platform.”
Meanwhile, discussion over the possible appointment of cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad as head of the Delhi Congress unit has left senior leaders divided. While his name has not been announced yet, top leaders said he is a “clear frontrunner”.
A party leader said Azad, who has been a former BJP MLA, will have his task cut out — to tackle a state unit facing a bitter divide within. “Two factions are yet again fighting with each other. Whoever is decided as the chief will have to work hard in reuniting these leaders. Delhi Assembly elections are crucial and the performance — we currently have zero MLAs — must go up,” said the leader.
Another leader said the delay in picking a state head — the post has been vacant since Sheila’s death on July 20 — may have an impact on the poll campaign. “If Azad is elected as the chief, he will need his own time to understand the issues in Delhi. Had this decision been taken a few months ago, he would have some time to work on critical issues,” said the leader.
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