Preparing for the big Lok Sabha battle just months away, the Congress will embark on a door-to-door campaign from next week highlighting the development work done by three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit (1998-2013) even as it expects some leaders who had deserted it to come back.
Former Delhi Commission of Women Chairperson Barkha Singh Shukla and former Union Minister Krishna Tirath and others are likely to join Congress well ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. They had left the party after questioning the working of then party city unit Chief Ajay Maken, a party leader, who did not want to be named, said.
He said that Shukla has had talks with the Congress leadership in the past few days and soon an announcement may be made.
On Shukla, he said that she has worked closely with Dikshit in the past and both share a good bonding. so it won't be surprising.
Tirath, who switched to BJP in May 2015, is also likely to come back to Congress fold in the coming days. A prominent Dalit face, she was an MLA from 1984 to 2004 and had served as Deputy Speaker in the Delhi assembly. Tirath was elected as Member of Parliament from North West Delhi parliamentary constituency in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections. She also held charge of Women and Child Development in the Manmohan Singh cabinet.
Earlier, former Delhi Minister and Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had also switched to BJP had returned to the party back in 2018.
Last week, in an interview to IANS, Dikshit, who was appointed Delhi Congress chief on January 10, had said that the the first challenge for her is to strengthen the Congress house.
She had also indicated that party will highlight the development work carried out by her government in the national capital during her tenure and compare it with that of the AAP in last four years.
A senior party leader told IANS that the party plans to compare the works of Dikshit and the AAP government in last four years in the Delhi and also highlight its politics of confrontation with the Centre, which is one of the main reasons for the stalling the development works in the city.
"We are preparing the list of the works done under Congress rule in Delhi and the works done by the AAP government in last four years," he said, adding that the programme to connect with the people will be launched soon at every block level in the city.
The party leader also said that the Congress is preparing a plan to keep its workers busy in all the seven parliamentary constituencies of the city as it had lost all of them to the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Keeping in the view of the crucial summer elections, Dikshit held a meeting on January 19 with the district and block Congress Committee presidents as part of the party's preparations for the coming elections.
In the meeting, the 80-year old leader, sought to know the working system of these bodies and the grassroot level working of the party.
Rajesh Lilothia, Haroon Yusuf, who were also appointed as the DPCC working presidents were also present in the meeting.
The COngress leader said that Dikshit described the Congress committee presidents as the backbones of the party, and had said them that only they can take the policies and programmes of the party to the people in an effective manner.
She also said that the district and block Congress committee presidents should work strongly to strengthen the party, and lead Congress to victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Diskshit also urged the district committees to hold conventions in their respective areas from next week which will be addressed by her.
The leader said that Dikshit has conveyed to partymen that she herself will hold Jan Jagran Abhiyan (people connect prgramme) in each district in which the people of Delhi will be made aware of the false promises and propaganda, corruption and the irresponsible statements of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the city.
He also said that the Congress will highlight how the AAP government in Delhi was misleading the people in matters such as mohalla clinics and health services.