On Thursday, only Mr Yusuf and Yadav addressed the district presidents as Mr Lilothia abstained from the meeting.
New Delhi: The rift within the Delhi Congress leadership widened further on Thursday with two working presidents — Haroon Yusuf and Devender Yadav — openly challenging state president and three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s decision of dissolving 280 block committees by telling their district presidents that the decision has been stayed by the AICC and they should go ahead to strengthen the party at the block level.
Soon after Ms Dikshit had ordered dissolution of the block committees, AICC general secretary P C Chacko, incharge of Delhi affairs had stayed her decision, saying it could harm the party in the Assembly elections which were due early next year.
But Ms Dikshit went ahead with her decision and appointed observers at district and block levels to short-list candidates for the post of block presidents. Again, Mr Chacko had raised objections to her decision saying, she should consult her working presidents before going for any major change in the organization.
When the Congress had appointed Ms Dikshit as the party head of the Delhi unit, it had also appointed Mr Yusuf, Mr Yadav and Mr Rajesh Lilothia as three working presidents to assist her. On Thursday, only Mr Yusuf and Yadav addressed the district presidents as Mr Lilothia abstained from the meeting. Mr Lilothia is considered close to Ms Dikshit. The DPCC chief is also said to have appointed Rohit Manchanda, Pushpender Srivastava and Prof. Ratan Jain as the party’s three new spokespersons.
Sources said that both Mr Yusuf and Mr Yadav made it amply clear to the district presidents that booth committees would function under their respective presidents, as they used to in the past. They told the district presidents to work in coordination with the booth presidents to strengthen the party at the grass roots level for the coming Assembly elections.
After three consecutive victories, the Congress was routed out of power in the last Assembly elections in which the newbie AAP had won 67 of the 70 Assembly seats. The Congress vote share had drastically gone down in the state polls.