Making it clear to all party unit leaders and workers as also Delhi Government functionaries that he did not have a soft heart like his mother Sonia Gandhi but was more resolute and determined like grandmother Indira Gandhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday gave the thumbs up to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s functioning, and cautioned that indiscipline would not be tolerated.
Mr. Gandhi, who made his first visit to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters on taking over as vice-president, held discussions with party and government functionaries, and urged them to work unitedly till the Assembly elections due later this year. He side-stepped the issue of change of leadership in either the government or the party in Delhi and instead, through his narrative, gave every indication of the status quo continuing till the elections.
Mr. Gandhi allowed a large number of party workers, elected representatives and government functionaries to say their part. He spent nearly four hours at the PCC office and even took notes of what the various leaders had to say.
At the first meeting, which began around 10.30 a.m., Mr. Gandhi interacted with Chandni Chowk MP Kapil Sibal, area MLAs, district presidents, vice-presidents and block presidents of the party from the constituency. Thereafter, he called people from two constituencies each – North-West and South, East and North-East and South and North.
Here, a number of party office-bearers raised district-level issues and accused the area MLAs and MPs of ignoring them at various functions.
While Mr. Sibal came in for some praise, South Delhi MP Ramesh Kumar and MLA Surender Kumar drew flak from leaders of their constituencies.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister and senior MLA Mukesh Sharma accused West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra of not working for the party’s cause. This was why the party lost the election from Nasirpur, which seat he vacated, by around 15,000 votes, Mr. Sharma said.