After leading her party to a landslide victory in the Capital, Sheila Dikshit is all set to start her third innings as chief minister.
On Wednesday, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), in its first meeting since the win, unanimously elected Dikshit as its leader.
The meeting was attended by all 42 newly elected MLAs who are members of CLP. The meeting was also attended by Mohsina Kidwai, General Secretary of All India Congress Committee, PK Bansal, Minister of State for Finance, Union minister Kapil Sibal and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal.
Dikshit’s heightened stature after the Congress’ third consecutive victory in the Capital could be gauged from the fact that the CLP took the decision to elect Dikshit as its leader within 48 hours of election results being announced — a far cry from 2003, when the CLP took eight days after declaration of results to proclaim her its leader.
Also, known Dikshit detractors like outgoing Delhi Assembly speaker Chaudhary Prem Singh, who, as the DPCC president in 2003, had opposed Dikshit’s candidature for chief ministership, tried to earn some brownie points this time by seconding her candidature for CLP leader. Kalkaji MLA Subhash Chopra also seconded the resolution.
The CLP spent almost an hour before electing Dikshit as its leader. When the meeting started at 12 noon, a unanimous resolution was passed, which left the decision to elect the CLP leader to United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Soon after this, Kidwai called Gandhi on the phone and informed her about the resolution.
“Once the Congress President put her stamp of approval on Dikshit, the announcement was made before the CLP, which elected her the leader,” said a Congress insider who attended the meeting.
Coming out of the meeting, Dikshit said, “With all humility, I accept the responsibility thrust upon me.”
The Election Commission is likely to notify the election results in a day or two and Dikshit is likely to take oath on Friday. The new Assembly will have to be formed before December 17, when the term of the outgoing government comes to an end.