A day after her statement that the BJP should form a government in Delhi snowballed into a controversy making her colleagues question her intention, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit tried to clear the air on it.
Talking to news channel CNN-IBN, the three-time Delhi chief minister said: "I never said BJP should form the Delhi government. All I said was that if they have numbers they should form the government."
On Thursday, Dikshit had told ANI that the BJP should be given the opportunity to form the government in the national Capital, evoking strong reaction from Congress leaders.
"I am glad that the people of Delhi will get an elected government. If the BJP is claiming that they will be able to form a government, I think they should be put to the test. The BJP's claim must have some basis as the president of their party is saying so," the ANI had quoted her as saying.
Dikshit also ruled herself out of the race for power in Delhi. She said, "I rule myself out of Delhi completely. I am not interested. Let the young generation take over."
Interestingly, AICC general secretary and in-charge of Delhi, Shakeel Ahmad, who had reacted strongly to Dikshit's statement on Thursday, defended her on Saturday. "What Sheilaji said on Thursday was a general statement that if the BJP has numbers it should form a government. The media misquoted her," Ahmad told Hindustan Times.
On Thursday, Ahmad had tweeted: "Sheilaji's comments on government formation in Delhi may be her personal opinion. Congress MLAs & AICC r totally against extending support to BJP (sic)."
However, the chinks in Congress' Delhi unit were visible once again on Friday when two of Dikhsit's staunch supporters - Okhla MLA Asif Mohammad Khan and Seelampur MLA Mateen Ahmed - supported her former view that BJP should form government defying the party stand on the issue.
The two MLAs had also met party president Sonia Gandhi two months ago requesting her to bring Dikshit back and be given reins of the party in the Capital city. The two MLAs, along with at least two more, were said to be in touch with BJP leaders exploring possibility of government formation after BJP won the Lok Sabha elections with a comfortable majority.
The two leaders also gave several Delhi Congress' internal meetings, called by Delhi chief Arvinder Singh, legislative party leader Haroon Yusuf and chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma, a miss, making their displeasure against the party leadership evident.
While Singh could not be contacted for comments, chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said there was no infighting within the party.