Stay on as chief: Sheila Dikshit to Rahul Gandhi
Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit Wednesday visited party president Rahul Gandhi’s residence at 12, Tughlaq Road, to urge him to reconsider his decision to step down from the party’s helm.
Although Dikshit, like other senior leaders, could not meet Rahul, she said she has “conveyed the message to Rahul that the party needed him and that he should continue, otherwise workers will be demoralised”.
Hundreds of Delhi Congress workers waited outside Rahul’s residence waving placards with messages such as “hope for the nation, Rahul Gandhi” and “har ghar ki hai yehi aawaz, Rahul Gandhi par humko naaz ”.
Seventy-three-year-old Sukhbir Luthra sat on the footpath outside the residence with an album of old pictures. When someone asked him about his association with the party, Luthra hurriedly turned the pages of the album to point to his photograph with former prime minister Indira Gandhi saying, “My connection with the party is that old.”
“I remember how excited I was to meet her. Rahul ji was a child back then; I had seen him walk silently with Sonia ji,” he said.
Many in the crowd believed that the Gandhi family is “the glue that holds the Congress party together”.
“It is the respect for this family that has held this party together for so many years. If they let go of the seat of command, the party will fall like a pack of cards,” Kishori Lal, a Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) worker, said.
Sunanda Srinate, a 45-year-old member of the Congress’ Sevadal, said she has been standing outside Gandhi’s house since 1pm in the scorching heat. “I knew I would not be able to meet him today. But I want to tell him that the workers are with him. Bas thodi kathin paristhitiyan hain, saath milke ladenge. Magar aapne haath chhoda toh jeet nahi payenge (These are tough times, we will fight together. But if you leave us, we will not be able to win),” Srinate said.