Having lost all seven Lok Sabha seats in the capital, cracks appear to be showing in Congress’s Delhi unit, with senior leaders expressing disappointment over the formation of a five-member committee by Delhi chief Sheila Dikshit.
Several leaders in the party alleged the decision to form the committee was taken without keeping them in the loop. According to sources, three working presidents of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee were not involved in the process.
On Monday, Dikshit formed a five-member committee to analyse the reasons behind the party’s defeat in the polls. The committee, comprising ex-MP Parvez Hashmi, former Delhi ministers Dr A K Walia and Dr Yoganand Shastri, AICC national spokesperson Pawan Khera and ex-MLA Jai Kishan, will submit its report to Dikshit within 10 days.
“It’s strange that a committee has been formed without even informing top leaders. The DPCC team was formed by party president Rahul Gandhi ji and we were all directed to work together. No decision can be taken by her alone,” said a senior leader from the party.
Some leaders also questioned the choice of committee members. Sources claimed that four of the five committee members had applied from various constituencies but were denied a ticket.
“They will definitely be extra critical of the other candidates. The committee should have been formed by AICC general secretary and Delhi in-charge P C Chacko. The party chief should also meet candidates to understand their issues,” said another leader.
Chacko told The Indian Express: “I wasn’t asked before forming the committee. I have come to know about it from one of the working presidents.”
However, some argued that the decision is Dikshit’s prerogative. “It is not mandatory to involve other leaders. As the party chief, she can take a decision without depending on other members,” said one leader.
According to sources, Dikshit has already submitted her resignation to Rahul Gandhi. However, no decision has been taken on it yet.
When contacted about the committee, she said, “This is the time to introspect and we do not want to get into petty issues.”
One of the working presidents, Rajesh Lilothia, who contested from North West Delhi constituency, said: “As I contested the elections this time, the party did not involve me in the formation of the committee. I may have a biased decision. It is important to have a neutral view.”
“Whatever grievances we have, we will discuss it with the high command. As a Congressman, we will do our bit to strengthen the party,” said Arvinder Singh Lovely, who contested from East Delhi.