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Cong faces leadership challenge ahead of Delhi polls after Dikshit's death

The new leader also faces the uphill task of uniting the faction-ridden Delhi unit, which had already put Dikshit and other leaders, including P C Chacko, at loggerheads on a host of issues

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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With less than six months to go for the Delhi Assembly polls, the Congress faces the daunting task of finding a new president for its city unit after the demise of former chief minister Sheila Dikshit last week.

This also comes amidst the uncertainty over a new Congress president after Rahul Gandhi made his resignation public earlier this month.

The delay in appointing a new Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief will also hurt the party's prospects as rivals BJP and AAP have already started work on Assembly polls, said a party leader on condition of anonymity.

Among the probable leaders who could be tasked with the responsibility of leading the party in Delhi are former DPCC chiefs J P Agarwal, a five-time MP, former Union minister Ajay Maken, and former Delhi Assembly Speaker Subhash Chopra. Maken had resigned as DPCC president early this year.

The name of Arvinder Singh Lovely is also doing the rounds.

The new leader also faces the uphill task of uniting the faction-ridden Delhi unit, which had already put Dikshit and other leaders, including P C Chacko, at loggerheads on a host of issues.

Dikshit had assumed charge of the Delhi unit early this year and under her leadership, the Congress managed to secure the number two position in the Lok Sabha election.

The performance had seen improvement after the Congress was relegated to number three position in all major elections held in the city-state since 2013.

Dikshit was also gearing up for the state Assembly polls scheduled to be held in January-February next year.

The leader pointed out that currently no city Congress face matches the popularity of Dikshit. The three working presidents -- Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia -- are relatively junior to other senior leaders like J P Agarwal, A K Walia and Subhash Chopra.

Dikshit died on July 20 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

First Published: Tue, July 23 2019. 21:40 IST
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