NEW DELHI: The internal crisis brewing in the State Congress in Delhi came to the fore on Friday with a section of city leaders seeking the removal of its in-charge PC Chacko for allegedly ‘leaking a personal letter’ addressed to him by Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
At a press conference held on Friday evening, a group of Delhi Congress leaders close to Sheila, including former Delhi ministers Mangat Ram Singhal and Kiran Walia with Delhi Congress spokespersons Ramakant Goswami and Jitender Kochar asked Chacko to step down from the post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) state unit in-charge.
Sandeep, two-time east Delhi MP also accused Chacko of ‘leaking’ his personal letter to the media but refused to divulge the details. The Delhi Congress leaders, aware of the letter, however, said in his communiqué, Sandeep had held Chacko responsible for the sudden demise of his mother-Sheila. “It was a personal letter to Chacko. If Chacko wants to leak it and talk about it, that is his prerogative,” Sandeep told reporters.
The leaders also urged interim president of Congress Sonia Gandhi to constitute a committee to probe the role of Chacko as in-charge of Delhi. However, Chacko denied the charges. He said that he had sent the letter in question, received two days ago, to Gandhi.“What would I do with wild allegations against me? I communicated the letter to Soniaji for her information,” Chacko said.
In her last term as president of Delhi Congress, during Lok Sabha polls this year, Sheila was locked in a tug-of-war with Chacko over several issues in the party including an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). She passed away on July 20 at the age of 81 due to illness.
“The letter was leaked by Chacko who claimed that it was a political letter. He should resign or the party High Command should sack him. We also demand the formation of a committee to probe his role as AICC in-charge of Delhi Congress,” Singhal said.
Chacko has already written to the party leadership to relieve him from his responsibility of Delhi Congress as he wanted to focus his attention on his home state Kerala.
Speaking at the press conference, Kochar claimed that Sheila had expressed her anguish over ‘activities’ in the party in her last letter to Sonia and added that it would be ‘released’ at an appropriate time.
Alka Lamba to rejoin Congress today
More than a month after quitting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), former Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba on Friday said she will be taking the primary membership of the Congress at the party headquarters on Saturday. Hours after quitting the AAP on September 6, Lamba had announced that she would join the Congress in the presence of interim President Sonia Gandhi at her residence. Lamba was disqualified from the Delhi Assembly by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on the grounds of defection on Sept 19.