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Cong squabbles reach party HQ

Over a dozen demonstrations were held against sitting MLAs and leaders said to have made the list of 40 cleared by the screening committee.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2003 17:40 IST

The severe infighting in Delhi Congress over distribution of tickets reached the All India Congress Committee (AICC) office at Akbar Road on Monday. Over a dozen demonstrations were held against sitting MLAs and leaders said to have made the list of 40 cleared by the screening committee.

A group of protesters brought with itself a 20-point ‘chargesheet’ against an MLA from the outer Delhi area. Another group waved placards against an MLA from east Delhi. A potentially serious clash between two groups owing allegiance to rival claimants for the same seat was averted after some senior leaders intervened.

Many of the protesters who were seen at the AICC HQ had visited the homes of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Prem Singh earlier in the day. By evening, there were reports that their efforts had borne fruit: sources said some candidatures which had been “almost finalised” were re-opened for review. This, however, did not prevent some unhappy leaders from contacting Sharad Pawar’s NCP in search of options.

The delay in the publication of the Congress list is thought to be primarily due to the bitter turf war between leaders for tickets for their followers. Spokesman Jagdish Tytler, however, insisted “things were on schedule”, and the list would come out on Tuesday.

But even before that happens, sceptics have begun to fear the worst. “If we choose wrong candidates, we are going to hand over to the BJP the advantage that we now have over them,” said a senior leader.

(With Amitabh Shukla)

First Published: Nov 11, 2003 17:40 IST