12 years and counting, a non-existent Pradesh Congress Committee in DelhiUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 00:04 IST
The Congress may have vowed to rebuild itself from scratch in Delhi, but the grand old party has failed to put in place its organisational structure in the city-state for the past 12 years.
The last time the state committee had been formed in the national capital was during Ram Babu Sharma’s tenure as the Delhi Congress president from 2005 to 2007.
A Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), comprising office bearers such as vice-presidents, general secretaries and secretaries, is a key panel that guides the party in the organisational matters in any state.
Sharma, a bête noire of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, was replaced by JP Agarwal who remained at the helm till 2013 when Arvinder Singh Lovely took over.
After Lovely, Ajay Maken assumed the top organisational post in Delhi in March 2015 soon after the decimation in the assembly elections in which the Congress failed to open its account. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 67 out of the 70 seats with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP bagging the remaining three.
Maken resigned in January last year citing health reasons and he was replaced by Dikshit who held the post till her death on July 20, 2019.
Three months later, Subhash Chopra was appointed the Delhi Congress chief to lead the party in the 2020 assembly elections. The Congress yet again failed to open its account and its vote share too dipped.
During these 12 years since Sharma’s tenure, the state committee remained non-existent due to unknown reasons.
With both Chopra and Delhi in-charge PC Chacko having offered to quit, the Congress is likely to go for a massive overhaul of its Delhi unit.
A senior Congress leader said the central leadership might hand over the reins of the Delhi unit to a fresh face keeping in mind different caste combinations.
“Three major communities – Brahmin, Bania and Punjabi -- dominate Delhi politics. The party cannot ignore such equations,” he said.
Apart from Lovely, Kamal Kant Sharma, Devender Yadav, Rajesh Lilothia and Mukesh Goel are the top contenders. Abhishek Dutt could also be given a prominent role in the organisation.
The Delhi Congress also witnessed a spat between Dikshit and Chacko last year over the appointment of block committees.
Just before her death, Dikshit had dissolved the 280 block committees and appointed before she took over as the Delhi Congress chief. Instead, she appointed fresh 280 observers, a move that was stayed by Chacko.