According to media reports, Sheila Dikshit, Delhi’s former chief minister, has been appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). The announcement came days after former DPCC President Ajay Maken resigned from the post citing poor health conditions.
Earlier, Ajay Maken was reported to be suffering from “painful orthopedic ailment” and his health condition deteriorated which finally led to his resignation. After Ajay Maken’s resignation, former Chief Minister Sheila Dixit was said to be the front-runner for the post of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president.
Later, the Congress committee appointed Dixit as DPCC president citing her experience as CM for 15 years as the reason for her appointment. Congress Party’s Delhi unit in-charge P C Chacko claimed that Dikshit’s presence will boost the party’s morale. Further, on the issue of coalition with AAP, Chacko added, “The Congress in Delhi is strong enough to fight on its own. We are fully prepared and ready to face the 2019 elections on our own”.
But it seems that there is a hidden agenda of the Grand Old party behind Dikshit’s appointment. Interestingly, this is the first time when the Congress party has appointed three working presidents to assist AICC president. It is speculated that names of Devendra Yadav, Haroon Yadav, and Rajkumar Chauhan had been doing the rounds for the post of working presidents. Also, it appears that Dikshit’s appointment is the Congress’ ploy to project her developmental works during her 15-year-old tenure as the State’s chief minister.
There are some utterly relevant questions which are ought to be raised following Dikshit’s appointment. Dikshit is being treated like a puppet by Congress’ high command after she badly lost in 2013 Delhi state assembly polls in which she couldn’t even save her own seat despite being the CM for three consecutive terms. Earlier in 2017, she was projected as the CM candidate in Uttar Pradesh assembly election. But it soon became clear that it was simply a desperate move on the part of the Grand Old party to appease upper caste voters in UP, as Dikshit belongs to the ‘Brahmin’ community. In UP, Congress had no credible record of development to show and marred by mountainous charges of corruption, the party heavily relied on the caste equation to grab some seats and play spoilers on others.
But as the elections in UP were around the corner, the Congress formed an alliance with the Samajwadi Party and sidelined Sheila Dikshit. But, the coalition failed badly and could bag only 54 seats out of 403 seats.
Dikshit is set to take up the responsibility of leading the party’s campaign in the national capital in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. But UP’s case is likely to be repeated in Delhi as the Congress party has been trying to form a Grand Coalition i.e. “Mahagathbandhan” prior to the Lok Sabha elections with various political parties including AAP in Delhi. Interestingly, if Mahagathbandhan is formed, Sheila Dikshit is likely to be ignored once again as Kejriwal will most probably be the face of the grand coalition in the national capital. Not to forget that, it is the true nature of the Grand Old Party; those who served the purpose are not required further.