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Chaos at Delhi Congress Legislature Party meeting

The rivals of CM Sheila Dikshit attacked her for alleged "inaction" on the sealing drive, reports Amitabh Shukla.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 21:28 IST

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting before the Winter Session of the Delhi Assembly turned out to be one of the nastiest in recent years with MLAs getting physical, abusing each other and flashing mikes on the sealing issue.

The sharp differences in the CLP came out in the open in the hour long meeting. The rivals of chief minister Sheila Dikshit attacked her for alleged "inaction" on the sealing drive.

Congress MLA Bheesham Sharma accused Dikshit of eroding the vote base of the party by disassociating the Delhi government from the sealing and demolition drive.

The MLA accused Dikshit for being responsible for what he called as a "mess" in Delhi.

As the MLAs, owing allegiance to Dikshit heard this, they hurled verbal abuses against Sharma. Three MLAs - Rajesh Lilothia, Ashok Ahuja and Ramakant Goswami traded charges against each other. One of them even threatened another with "dire consequences".

All this drama happened in front of the CM, her Cabinet colleagues and DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma.

The DPCC president sided with Bheesham Sharma in the internal party scuffle. The other MLAs who found common cause with the outbursts included, Vijay Locchav, Master Bijendra, Anil Bhardwaj, Mukesh Sharma, Malaram Gangwal, Shadi Ram, Surender Singh Bittoo and Mahabal Mishra.

As the battlelines were drawn for a prolonged verbal duel, Subhash Chopra and Jile Singh Chauhan tried to mediate between the warring groups.

Chopra attacked the ministers of Delhi government for not taking any stand on the sealing drive.

Bheesham Sharma later said, "The popularity of the Congress is dipping. We want an amendment in the resolution to be moved by the CM so that Delhi government also remains accountable," he said.

Dikshit refused to comment on what happened inside the CLP meeting. "We are moving a resolution on sealing," was all she offered when probed by the reporters.

The CLP formally passed a resolution condemning the BJP for politicising the sensitive issue of sealing and demolition.

It assured the affected traders that all possible steps would be taken to safeguard their interests and asked for uniform relief to all affected people belonging to different categories of colonies.

The CLP also decided that all the 47 Congress MLAs of Delhi, including Dikshit and her Cabinet colleagues would meet the Monitoring Committee on Tuesday and petition it afresh for relief.

Email Amitabh Shukla: ashukla@hindustantimes.com