Kirti likely to be new Delhi Cong chief Amid Fac­tion­al­ism, Party Lead­er­ship Keen On ‘Out­sider’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Former in­ter­na­tional crick­eter and ex-BJP MP Kirti Azad is likely to be the new pres­i­dent of Delhi Congress, a post which is ly­ing va­cant since the demise of Sheila Dik­shit in July this year. Sources con­firmed that in­terim Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi gave her nod to Azad’s name on Fri­day af­ter con­sult­ing se­nior party lead­ers. The for­mal an­nounce­ment of Azad’s ap­point­ment is likely to be made in a day or two, a se­nior party func­tionary who is privy to the de­vel­op­ment, said.

“On the in­struc­tions of the party pres­i­dent, the an­nounce­ment has been with­held tem­po­rar­ily,” said a party func­tionary.

Azad will suc­ceed three­term chief min­is­ter Dik­shit to whom he had lost his sec­ond Delhi assem­bly elec­tion from Gole Mar­ket (now de­funct) con­stituency as a BJP can­di­date. Azad had won his first assem­bly elec­tion from the same con­stituency in 1993.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior party leader, Azad has been named con­sid­er­ing the in­creas­ing dom­i­nance of the mi­grant pop­u­la­tion in the city’s pol­i­tics. An­other source said that the party lead­er­ship was keen on ap­point­ing some­body not as­so­ci­ated with Delhi pol­i­tics in view of the on­go­ing tus­sle be­tween the war­ring fac­tions.

The BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Ti­wari, who won his suc­ces­sive Lok Sabha elec­tion from North East Delhi in the re­cently con­cluded polls, be­longs to Bihar. Sev­eral MLAs and se­nior party lead­ers in the Aam Aadmi Party also be­long to east­ern Ut­tar Pradesh and Bihar, that form the Poor­van­chal re­gion.

With more than 30% vot­ers in Delhi from the re­gion, Poor­van­chalis are a huge vote bank no po­lit­i­cal party can af­ford to ig­nore. Ac­cord­ing to po­lit­i­cal ex­perts, there are about 30 of 70 assem­bly seats in the cap­i­tal where Poor­van­chalis play an im­por­tant role.

A sec­tion of the Delhi Congress lead­ers, how­ever, seems un­happy with the party’s de­ci­sion. They said that the ap­point­ment of a lo­cal leader as the state unit chief would have been a bet­ter choice con­sid­er­ing that the assem­bly elec­tions in the na­tional cap­i­tal are due early next year.

“A lo­cal leader would have prob­a­bly been more suc­cess­ful in mo­ti­vat­ing party work­ers to come out and start work­ing on the ground to make Congress re­gain its lost ground. When the Congress is not con­sid­ered any­where in the con­test, some­body, who has joined the party only a few months ago, has been made the chief of the state unit. This would fur­ther de­mo­ti­vate the hard­core party work­ers,” said a party func­tionary.

Kirti Azad

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.