Off the record

Lone leader fails

The Congress, which lost miserably in the Delhi Assembly poll, seems to have anticipated its worst nightmare a fortnight back. While the rival Bharatiya Janata Party was holding a number of rallies with all its top leaders, Congress virtually was depending heavily on its lone leader Sheila Dikshit throughout its campaign. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was supposed to hold some rallies in national capital, cancelled the rallies at the last moment.

Insiders say that fearing public outrage over corruption and price rise, the mandarins of Congress had reportedly decided to limit Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s rallies to a few constituencies and not involve other central leaders like Telecom minister Kapil Sibal and Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the campaign.

As the party failed to gather sizeable crowds for Rahul’s rallies, the party leaders felt that it would be better to allow Sheila to lead the campaign alone than involving others considering strong anti-Congress wave. Finally, their worst fears proved right as Congress lost heavily in the polls.

Ajith Athrady, New Delhi

Beyond expectation!

Even before Delhi went to polls, media persons and political leaders were curious to know the outcome, especially about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which was expected to change the political equations in the capital. Though all of them were of the view that AAP would be able to make their presence felt, there were doubts about the percentage of vote share it can garner to wash out three-time winner Congress. The power corridors in the national capital was dismissive as usual.

However, it would be interesting to look in to what was going inside the AAP which had made all the political groups restless.  In fact, AAP workers were divided over the issue and contrary to the official position of the party, many of the leaders had doubts about the party perforemance.

“I think we will do well to go ahead with the kind of politics we are doing, but it would hardly be a massive victory as most of our people are expecting,” a senior leader had said just a day before the counting of votes. Poll results, naturally, surprised everyone including Aam Aadmi Party leaders. “We did it, but had hardly expected,” said a jubilant leader with all ecstasy. “You can never know the mind of the people. They have expressed faith in our politics,” he added.

Anil Sinha, New Delhi

No place for losers

The Congress may do away with the practice of appointing defeated chief ministers as AICC general secretaries as it goes about transforming the organisation against the backdrop of the shocking results of the just concluded assembly elections.

Ashok Gehlot was appointed as AICC general secretary after he was ousted by BJP's Vasundhra Raje in 2003. However, there were indications that he could be out in the wilderness, at least for some time. Similar could be the case of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who lost her New Delhi assembly seat to Aam Aadmi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal.

In the past, former J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had also been appointed as an AICC general secretary after the Congress-PDP alliance lost power.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

Comments (+)