New Delhi: As if remaining headless wasn’t an issue for the Congress, the party is now grappling with finding a suitable candidate for its Delhi unit as well following the death of three-time CM Sheila Dikshit on July 20. (Also read: Delhi Cong Launches Referral System)
If reports are to be believed, former Punjab minister and Congress lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu and actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha are among the frontrunners to the post.
Nothing is final yet, said a source to ANI. “It is likely to be decided after the national party president is finalised. There is a potential possibility that Sidhu is given the Delhi PCC responsibility,” he said.
However, Congress office-bearers have denied confirming any such development. Party’s Delhi in-charge PC Chacko said, “There is no such discussion in my knowledge. No meeting of PCC has taken place so far to decide on the Delhi Congress chief’s post.”
Sidhu, who has had a very public spat with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, in whose Cabinet he was given Power, New, and Renewable Energy Resources after a reshuffle in June, resigned in July. Interestingly, he submitted his resignation letter to then Congress president Rahul Gandhi instead of Captain.
Shatrughan Sinha, a long-time BJP leader, switched sides to the Congress right before the Lok Sabha elections. He was upset with the saffron party for not giving him a ticket from Patna Sharif. However, he lost the election to Ravi Shankar Prasad. A daily has pointed out that even Sinha is in the running.
Among the Delhi leaders, five-time MP Jai Prakash Agarwal, former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and Sheila’s son, Sandeep Dikshit, are also in the reckoning. Both Agarwal and Lovely have been part of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in the past while Sandeep was elected to Parliament twice from East Delhi Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009.
“The party will first elect a new AICC president before it decides on the Delhi leadership,” a senior party leader said, requesting anonymity. Dikshit was appointed the president of Delhi Congress early this year after her predecessor and former union minister, Ajay Maken, decided to step down citing poor health.