Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi (Photo Source: PTI)
Nearly a month after the unexpected demise of Sheila Dikshit, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday met AICC Delhi in-charge PC Chacko and district presidents to discuss the selection of a new chief for the party's city unit. Dikshit, who was appointed as the chief of Delhi Congress in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, died of cardiac arrest at Fortis Escorts hospital on July 20.
Soon after his meeting with Gandhi, Chacko said, "The Congress chief instructed me to take feedback of senior party leaders, including former Delhi unit presidents and MPs, to find the right person for the post".
"Besides me, district Congress presidents also met Sonia ji. Selection of a new president for the Delhi Congress was discussed in the meeting," he told reporters, adding that he would again meet Gandhi after taking feedback in the next few days.
Those leaders based in Delhi will be given preferences for the post, Chacko said refuting the reports suggesting names of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shatrughan Sinha as probable for the post of Delhi Congress president. "Such reports are mere conjectures. The next Delhi Congress president will be from Delhi," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Congress is endeavouring to select a suitable president to head the party in the national capital where Assembly polls are scheduled to take place in early 2020. Party veterans said it will be a "difficult" task for Congress to find a replacement of Dikshit, who despite her age had led the party in the Lok Sabha elections.
With Dikshit appointed as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Congress managed to push AAP to third place on five of the seven parliamentary constituencies, besides getting more votes than the ruling party in Delhi.
The names which are, currently, doing rounds for the top post in Delhi Congress, include Rajesh Lilothia, Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav, JP Agarwal and Subhash Chopra among others.
However, sources close to Agarwal said he was "reluctant" to take the charge due to his age. Names of Dikshit's son Sandip Dikshit and former minister in the Sheila Dikshit government Yoganand Shastri are also in the reckoning.