New Delhi, Sep 5, 2019-
With the Delhi Assembly polls just five months away, Sonia Gandhi, Congress interim chief, here on Thursday, met former state unit chiefs for an hour to thrash out the leadership issue as the party has been left headless since former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s death on July 20.
According to party sources, decision on the new party chief will be taken within a week. However, after the meeting, Delhi party in-charge P.C. Chacko, said, “She (Sonia Gandhi) has said we will announce the new Delhi chief in two-three days.”
The meeting was attended by former Delhi party chiefs Ajay Maken, Aravinder Singh Lovely and Subhash Chopra as well as Chacko. However, Jai Prakash Agarwal, another former party chief, missed the meeting as he was out of station.
According to sources, Chacko apprised Sonia of the party’s condition. Lovely and Chopra showed interest in leading the party. Name of Chopra was among the top runners for the post, sources said.
The leaders also took up the post of Delhi in-charge as Chacko wants to be relieved of duties.
Last week, Chacko and 14 district party presidents had met Sonia at her residence. Lovely and senior party leader A.K. Walia had met her as well.
On Tuesday, Alka Lamba, disgruntled AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk, also met her fueling the speculation that she might join the Congress ahead of polls. The Congress, eyeing a comeback in Delhi, which it ruled for three consecutive terms from 1998 to 2013 under Dikshit, is yet to put its house in order.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already launched election campaign. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who represents the Northeast Delhi in the Lok Sabha, and senior leader Vijay Goel have been holding a series of programmes.
The Congress lost the 2013 elections to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and was wiped out in the 2015 elections, when the AAP won 67 of the 70 seats. The BJP had won three seats.