New Delhi: The Congress in Delhi is seen as an inactive force, with its own party leaders blaming it of not being able to counter the ruling AAP on important issues effectively. The grand old party is going to give its Delhi unit a new chief, expecting the change would revive its lost fortunes in the state.
A leader privy to developments in the party said that there are three names currently doing the rounds—Sandeep Dikshit, Devender Yadav, and Rajesh Lilotiya. However, party leaders are tight-lipped about any developments taking place in the party. Anuj Attre, Delhi Pradesh Congress spokesperson, said, “We don’t have any such information, the current Delhi chief, Anil Chaudhary, is doing quite well, and he will continue. I am not aware of any changes that are going to happen.”
Another Delhi spokesperson, Vikram Lohia, also denied that any change would take place in the party and said the party is preparing for MCD elections under the leadership of the current chief. According to sources, party leaders believe the chances for Rajesh Lilotiya to get the position has more probability as he is closer to Rahul Gandhi. In addition to that, leaders believe, he also has credentials to tackle issues in the party.
Lilotiya has rich political background as he was the President of Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress (DPYC) from 2001 to 2006. He had held the post of Secretary in All India Congress Committee (AICC) and was also in-charge of Bihar. Moreover, he was appointed as the Working President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee when Sheila Dikshit was Delhi chief minister.
Currently, Lilotiya has been appointed as a chairman of SC department in AICC. There is also an understanding among the party leaders that the high command could give Lilotiya the position for they have indicated that they could be embracing a face who represents SC. Other leaders say that the candidate hasn’t been decided yet and Lilotiya’s chance of being the captain of the ship is mere speculation.
Currently, its Delhi unit has Anil Chaudhary as president. As he had succeeded Subash Chopra, in whose tenure, Congress failed to secure even a single seat in 2020 assembly elections, and its vote share almost halved from 9.7% in 2015 to 4.27%. The decline had given way to Chowdhury to take the command of the Delhi unit. Yet, the party has been declining further since his appointment. The party leaders believe the recent Rajendra Nagar bypolls was the reflection of how actually the Congress is performing as it failed to even secure its deposits on the seat. A leader said, “There is only structure left of Congress.”
Another reason that is circulating in the party is that the senior leadership, to name a few, Ajay Maken, Arvinder Singh Lovely, Subash Chaudhary, is not able to gel with the state unit leadership. A leader said, “They find it difficult to accept Anil Chaudhary as an effective leader due to the party’s decline.”
It is said by leaders that Subash Shukla and Arvinder Singh Lovely were also in the race, but there are grim chances of them being made the chief.
In addition to that, Lovely has already been a president of the Delhi unit spanning 2013-2015, before which he was the member of Delhi legislative Assembly for 15 years.