Senior Congress leaders — representing minority-dominated constituencies — met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday seeking a revamp of the Pradesh Congress Committee which they claimed was a “dead organisation” at present.
The MLAs have also asked that Sheila Dikshit be brought back into the Delhi political scene so that the party’s image can be strengthened.
The four MLAs — Mateen Ahmad (Seelampur), Asif Mohd Khan (Okhla), Hasan Ahmed (Mustafabad) and Prahlad Singh Sawhney (Chandni Chowk) — were accompanied by AICC general secretary and Delhi in-charge Shakeel Ahmad. They informed Rahul that the party was functioning more on individuals than as a movement.
Speaking to Newsline, Mateen Ahmad said, “We have only one thing to tell the public — the development in Delhi in the last 15 years when Sheila Dikshit was the chief minister. It is important that she be brought back in Delhi and the organisation revamped in view of upcoming polls.”
During the meeting at Rahul’s Tughlaq Road residence that lasted about 15 minutes, the MLAs also asked that the party’s frontal organisations such as Seva Dal, Kisan Cell and Labour Cell be revived. These have remained non-functional for several years. “We need such organisations more when the party is out of power because it forms our ground force,” Ahmad said.
Asif Mohd Khan emphasised that it is critical that Dikshit be present in the Congress’s Delhi campaign since it is her tenure that the party will be highlighting.
“We have not asked that she be made to contest elections and Dikshit herself stated that she does not intend to. However, she said she would listen to the high command and do what is asked of her. We have requested Rahulji to bring Sheilaji back as a leader of her stature cannot be sidelined,” Khan said.
Rahul is reported to have assured the MLAs that their complaints would be factored in while deciding on steps to be taken before the polls and that changes in the Delhi Congress may be expected soon. “He also told us that the party is not as aggressive as it should be given that elections could be announced any time,” he said.
Ahmad said irrespective of Dikshit contesting Delhi elections, she will be a star campaigner.