At least seven former or current Congress MLAs are said to have complained to the party high command against giving the North-West Delhi ticket to Union minister and sitting MP Krishna Tirath. Tirath, however, plays down factionalism in the party.
“This is a party with democracy and everyone has a right to say whatever he or she feels. But there is no infighting in the Congress party. All of us are standing together for the elections. The Congress party will win in these elections.”
Asked why some leaders have complained about her ‘high-handedness’, she said, “I have always been in my constituency. I have worked day and night for my people. I have assured rights for women, jobs for people coming from other states and many more things. It’s not true that I have no cooperated with party workers.”
On the issue of taking disciplinary action against those who opposed her candidature, she maintained it was the duty of senior party leaders.
“Only if the senior party leaders find any case of indiscipline, they will take action. It is the duty of senior leaders. How can I say who is indisciplined in the party. I have deep reverence for the party MLAs and former MLAs as they make our organisation strong. We do not have any issues,” she said.
The BJP has fielded Dalit leader Udit Raj, who had recently joined the party and the AAP has fielded former Delhi Minister Rakhi Birla against Tirath. She, however, dismisses any talk of a triangular fight.
“There is no triangular fight. This is an election for Congress party. I have worked for the betterment of people of my constituency and they will definitely choose Congress party,” she said.
Asked about the rising popularity of Rakhi Birla, Tirath said, “Birla can never become my competitor in the area. She has no understanding of politics. She doesn’t know what it takes to serve people. People from her community have rejected her. It takes a lot of effort to work for public. But she only knows shouting and making nuisance. She does all this for getting media’s attention and not for welfare of people.”
Birla, 25, was the youngest state cabinet minister in India. She belongs to the Balmiki community and the total number of voters of this community in Delhi is over five lakh.