New Delhi: After holding consultation with senior leaders and office-bearers, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to appoint former Union minister Ajay Maken as the party’s in-charge of Delhi unit.
It is reliably learnt that the formal announcement in this regard will be made only after September 29. However, Mr Maken is said to have expressed his reluctance to take up the new job, citing health reasons.
The post for the party’s Delhi unit fell vacant after the death of former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Ever since she died, the party’s day-to-day affairs are being looked after by the state units’ three interim presidents — Haroon Yusuf, Rajesh Lilothia and Devender Yadav.
There has been tremendous pressure on the Congress leadership to announce the name of the party’s local unit chief as the city is set to go for the crucial Assembly elections in February next year.
The elections are important for the party as it was wiped out in the 70-member Assembly in the 2015 state elections after remaining in power for 15 consecutive years.
A highly placed source said that Mr Maken was all set to get a second chance to head the city unit as he was the most experienced politician who had served the city in different capacities.
Prior to Dikshit, he headed the city unit and it was under his leadership that the party’s vote share had gone up during the elections to the three municipal corporations.
Mr Maken had been elected twice to the Lok Sabha and thrice to the Delhi Legislative Assembly. He had also served as the parliamentary secretary and held ministerial berths of transport and power departments in Dikshit’s Cabinet.
The 1964-born politician was the youngest speaker of the Delhi Assembly during Dikshit’s tenure. He also served as Union minister in urban affairs and sports departments in former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet.
Prior to the Lok Sabha elections, Mr Maken had resigned as the state unit president on health grounds.