NEW DELHI: The Congress may spring surprise and pick a ‘new’ leader for its Delhi unit, which has been headless for more than two months.
A senior party functionary, aware of the development, said as the senior leadership couldn’t reach a consensus on an ‘experienced’ leader for the job, it had begun looking for a ‘fresh face’.
“There have already been several rounds of discussions on experienced leaders proposed to lead the Delhi unit. However, no consensus could be reached on any of them. Our high command is now on the lookout for a fresh face for the post. Hopefully, a final decision will be reached by the weekend. Our Delhi in-charge PC Chacko is likely to meet party president (Sonia Gandhi) on Friday in this regard,” a Congress functionary said.
Earlier, it was reported that the party might opt for an experienced leader, who has held the post in the past.
The post of Delhi Congress president fell vacant after former chief minister Sheila Dikshit passed away on July 20. With the Assembly polls round the corner, the delay in naming a successor to the post has made the party unit jittery.
Several leaders have voiced concern over the lack of consensus on the next Delhi Congress chief, saying, with the polls barely a couple of months away, the prolonged absence of a leader to shepherd the party’s city rank and file could not only impair the party’s activities on the ground but also ‘severe’ damage to it ahead of the polls.
“The persistent delay in naming the next party chief (in Delhi) is a matter of grave concern. It seems our senior leaders have failed to gauge the situation on the ground. We need to kick off our poll preparations at the earliest,” a senior Delhi Congress leader said.He said Sonia was supposed to hold a meeting on the issue on Thursday, but it was postponed as the party had finalised its nominees for the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections.
“Since Soniaji was to take a decision on a few tickets, the meeting with Chacko couldn’t be held. They will now likely meet on Friday,” he said.
Confirming the development, Chacko said, “The party is looking for a new name for the post. I may see her tomorrow and the name may be announced in 2-3 days.”
Earlier, Sonia held several meetings with Delhi Congress leaders and former state unit presidents — Tajdar Babar, Ajay Maken, Jai Prakash Agrawal, Arvinder Singh Lovely, and Subhash Chopra — to build a consensus on Dikshit’s successor. She also met three working presidents of Delhi Congress — Haroon Yusuf, Devendra Yadav, and Rajesh Lilothia.