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Congress in troubled waters, top leaders shying away from Delhi polls

While former MP Sandeep Dikshit was not among those asked to contest, he has nipped in the bud any speculation that he might

Business Standard 

Sonia Gandhi
Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi flanked with former prime minister Manmohan Singh during Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, in New Delhi, Saturday. | Photo: PTI

A few days ago, Congress President (pictured) held a meeting with senior leaders of the party’s Delhi unit. She asked them to contest the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls, which are on February 8. However, several key Delhi leaders are not keen to contest. Former state unit chief Ajay Maken has left for the US. His daughter has taken unwell. Maken had conveyed to P C Chacko, who is in charge of Delhi affairs, that he would not contest. Senior party leader Naseeb Singh is also unwilling to contest. While former MP Sandeep Dikshit was not among those asked to contest, he has nipped in the bud any speculation that he might.

Stampede for cake

The birthday celebration of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President Mayawati (pictured) has, over the years, become a special event for her party workers. They celebrate the day with fanfare and renew allegiance to the Bahujan movement. Mayawati, who is affectionately referred to as behanji, observes the day as “people’s welfare day” with the customary cutting of a birthday cake. On her 64th birthday on Wednesday party members jostled to get a piece of the cake and ended up creating a stampede-like situation at the party headquarters. Detractors said such scenes had become common during such occasions, giving the self-proclaimed disciplined party a bad name.

Support meets with protests

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch on Thursday organised a meeting in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at New Delhi’s Constitution Club. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch is affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affairs are handled by senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar. As soon as Kumar, along with some Muslim leaders of the outfit, took the stage, more than 12 of those seated got up to stand in front of the dais with anti-CAA placards that said “reject CAA, NRC, NPR”, and shouted slogans. Yaser Gilani, the spokesperson for the Manch, accused the Congress of engineering the protest. Congress sources said it had nothing to do with the incident.

First Published: Thu, January 16 2020. 21:24 IST
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