Delhi Congress on boil

Accusations are flowing thick and fast with a section claiming that the confidantes of Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, who is not in the best of her health, are running the show from "behind the curtains". (PTI File Photo)

The war within Congress' Delhi unit is holding it back from capitalising on its electoral performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections where it pushed the Aam Aadmi Party to the third position.

Accusations are flowing thick and fast with a section claiming that the confidantes of Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, who is not in the best of her health, are running the show from "behind the curtains".

AICC in-charge P C Chacko and three working presidents have separately written to Dikshit against her style of functioning while a group of 29 Delhi Congress leaders have sought the intervention of outgoing Rahul Gandhi.

Chacko has even written that a senior leader like her should not have flouted party directives and that Dikshit should restrict her confidantes from “unauthorised” actions.

The internal fight has affected the functioning of the party, which had come second in five out of seven Lok Sabha seats and improved its vote share to 22.51% votes pushing AAP to 18.21%.

It has not been able to position itself after the Lok Sabha polls, mainly due to the confusion over national leadership after resignation of Rahul as well as its inability to organise protests or raise its voice on local issues.

The latest in the row of disagreement is over appointing observers in block and district levels where it is alleged that Dikshit camp has unilaterally gone ahead with the appointments and has not even consulted three working presidents.

"We are shocked to know that how can such an important decision be taken when the PCC president (Dikshit) is in the hospital. This exercise requires in-depth consultation and deliberation. Hence, it seems that some people, from behind the curtains, are operating the affairs of the PCC," the joint letter by 29 leaders said.

They also claimed that the Delhi Congress did not participate to give its opinion on a public hearing on power tariff and it was unable to expose AAP government on poor Board results while keeping silent on communal tensions as well as putting the municipal corporations on the dock.

Earlier, Dikshit had “unilaterally” formed a committee to study the party performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Last week, she also dissolved all the 280 block committees.

Chacko has written at least letters, the latest on Saturday, in the past two months asking Dikshit not to take any decisions without consulting working presidents Harun Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia and him.

In his letter, Chacko said as he had stayed the dissolution of the Block committees, the appointment of observers were unauthorised. This could lead to "unnecessary differences and conflict", he said.

"I am sorry to say that a senior leader of your stature should not have flouted the directive of AICC and taking decision leading to unrest and differences in the rank file of the party. I have received numerous complaints...against the actions under your signature," he said.

"Please restrict persons acting on your behalf, from such unauthorised actions and leaking news to media defaming the image of the party," Chacko added.

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