Congress name Subhash Chopra as Delhi unit chief

Subhash Chopra, who turned 72 on Wednesday, was a rival of Shiela, and also the president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee between 1998 and 2003. (PTI File Photo)

Ahead of the Assembly elections, Congress on Wednesday named veteran leader Subhash Chopra as the president of its Delhi unit, a post that fell vacant after the demise of former chief minister Shiela Dikshit.

Chopra, who turned 72 on Wednesday, was a rival of Shiela, and also the president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee between 1998 and 2003.

Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad, who quit the BJP to join the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, was named as the Chairman of the campaign committee for the Delhi Assembly elections.

The appointments come after long deliberations between Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and the Delhi unit leaders on Shiela's successor with names of young leaders such as Devendra Yadav, Ajay Maken, Arvinder Singh Lovely and veterans such as Chopra and J P Agarwal being considered.

Azad, the son of former Bihar chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, was also a strong contender for the post, particularly with an eye on the sizeable Purvanchali voters in the capital.

The Congress also got about putting its house in order in the national capital and issued show cause notices to five senior leaders who had levelled allegations against AICC in-charge P C Chacko, by holding him responsible for the death of Shiela in July.

The central disciplinary action committee of the Congress sought explanation from Kiran Walia, Mangatram Singhal, Ramakant Goswami, Rohit Manchanda and Jitendra Kumar Kochar as to why action should not be taken against them for issuing public statements against senior party leaders.

“They have been asked to explain within 15 days i.e. on or before 17th November, 2019 failing which appropriate action will be initiated against them,” Motilal Vora, member of the DAC said.

Chopra's key task would be to forge unity in the fractious state unit to take on the BJP and an aggressive AAP led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Congress scored a blank in the 2015 assembly elections and also failed to win a single seat in the national capital in the Lok Sabha elections in May.

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