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2 Delhi Congress working presidents oppose Sheila Dikshit's decision to dissolve block units

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The turmoil in the Congress's Delhi unit intensified on Thursday as its two working presidents defied president Sheila Dikshit's decision to dissolve 280 block committees, asserting that it could be done only through a unanimous decision.

Delhi Congress working presidents Haroon Yusuf and Devender Yadav reached the party office accompanied by their supporters who vociferously protested against Dikshit's Wednesday order.

The supporters claimed that through the order the two leaders' responsibilities were limited to handling Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) polls.

The two leaders, however, denied that it was a show of strength by them, saying it was usual for them to visit party office to meet party leaders and workers to discuss ways to strengthen the party organisation in Delhi.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Delhi Congress on Wednesday wrote to Dikshit, saying he authorised the three working presidents to hold district and block presidents meetings and take decisions in view of coming elections.

Chacko, in his letter also referred to health issues concerning Dikshit, and said that the working presidents will report to her the decisions taken by them.

Reacting to this apparent attempt to curtail her powers, Dikshit issued an "action note" through which she assigned affairs of DUSU elections to Yusuf and Yadav, while the third working president Rajesh Lilothia was deputed to look after matters concerning North and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, Youth Congress and Delhi Congress cells.

The Delhi Congress Committee comprises the president and three working presidents. So any order must be unanimously passed and only such an order is valid, Yadav said.

"I think there are some mischievous elements behind this move. I do not think this order has come from Sheila Dikshit because she understands only a unanimous order is valid," he said.

Dikshit told PTI that she did not receive any letter from Chacko, without commenting further on the widening rift in the party.

However, sources close to her said that she was "highly annoyed" with rumours being spread about her health and complained against it to the Congress high command.

Both Yusuf and Yadav said that the "summary" dissolution of block committees and removal of their presidents was not good for the party as the Assembly polls were due early next year.

"The block committees continue and the new block observers appointed (by Dikshit) have no validity since it was done without any consultation with working presidents," Yadav said.

Following her action of dissolving the block committees, Dikshit had last Saturday appointed district and block level observers to choose new block presidents.

Yusuf said that some people in the party were issuing statements in an unauthorised manner, vitiating the atmosphere in the party, hinting at Dikshit's aides.

"We respect Sheila ji, she is a senior leader and I have learnt a lot from her. I had advised her not to appoint observers," he said.

The ongoing war within Delhi Congress is continuing unabated amid prolonged uncertainty over Rahul Gandhi's resignation as Congress president due to which the party High Command has so far failed to check the two warring sides.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 18 2019. 21:25 IST