Tough times notwithstanding, the Delhi Congress presented a united face at a function to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
But in their eagerness to show their support to the Delhi state leadership, the party workers almost ignored former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who is the chairperson of the committee assigned to organise Nehru’s birth anniversary celebrations throughout the year.
At the event, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh assured the party high command that the Congress workers stood united in support of the party and its leadership. In his speech at Talkatora Stadium, Singh told the party workers to take inspiration from Nehru who struggled against the British throughout his life but was in power for only a few years.
“We are not in the Congress to be in the government. We are a part of this party because we have faith in its ideology, and leadership,” Singh said in the presence of party president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
While Singh and Congress legislative party leader Haroon Yusuf did not mention Sheila as former chief minister while addressing her during their speech, other party leaders maintained a distance from her.
After the Delhi debacle, the city leadership had come under a cloud. But if a packed house and a large number of workers trying to get into the stadium were any indications, the Delhi Congress leadership managed to prove a point or two to its detractors. Some of the party workers — from Indira Camp and Tughlaqabad — however, were paid `200 each to increase the numbers at the stadium.
The Congress is facing a tough challenge of improving its tally in the Delhi polls likely to take place early next year.
While the Congress leadership did not make any reference to the upcoming Delhi assembly elections, Singh made a small reference to the recent communal tensions and urged party workers to join hands against communal forces.