NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Assembly elections in Delhi, the Congress is likely to appoint former-cricketer-turned politician Kirti Azad as the party’s city unit president amid intense infighting within the party. The rift within the Congress is reportedly causing a delay in announcing the name of its chief in Delhi, the post which fell vacant after the death of former chief minister Sheila Dikshit on July 20 this year.
Mr Azad joined the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in February this year. Before finalising Mr Azad, the Congress leaders had tried hard to select a name for the Delhi unit chief. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had met a delegation of the party’s state unit leaders and Delhi Congress in-charge P.C. Chacko but a decision on the final name of the city unit chief could not be made.
Fresh crisis broke within the Congress with Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep writing a letter to Mr Chacko alleging that the party leader had mentally harassed his mother in her last days. Backing Mr Dikshit, former city ministers Ramakant Goswami, Kiran Walia and Mangat Ram Singhal demanded an inquiry against Mr Chacko through the party’s internal committee to get into the root of the matter. Addressing a joint press conference, the trio also demanded that the party should investigate corruption allegations against Mr Chacko. They expressed serious concern over the fact that while other parties were preparing for the coming state elections, their party was busy in battling internal differences.
Sources said that Mr Dikshit had stated in the letter that adverse political situations were created by Mr Chacko for her mother. The said letter which is still not out in open has already created a massive political controversy. Asked about the letter, former Delhi MP said that he has written the letter to Mr Chacko in person and not as a Congress leader.
Sources said that the Congress’ disciplinary committee will look into the allegations made by Mr Dikshit against Mr Chacko. It is learnt that Mr Chacko has informed Mrs Gandhi about the letter and its contents, following which she has referred the matter to the disciplinary committee comprising of senior party leaders A.K. Antony, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Motilal Vora.
When informed that the letter has been sent to Mrs Gandhi, Mr Dikshit responded: “You must go and ask P.C. Chacko about the letter. What has Sonia Gandhi got to do with this letter? I keep on writing letters to Chacko and now he has to think how he will respond to this.”
Asked about the letter, Mr Chacko said: “Only he (Sandeep Dikshit) can answer why he wrote the letter. I have read the letter and I think the Congress men should know about this.”