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