NEW DELHI

Sonia to nominate new DPCC chief

Ram Babu Sharma likely to be re-nominated

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee delegates' meeting scheduled here for Tuesday to elect a new president is all set to adopt a resolution authorising party president, Sonia Gandhi, to name the new incumbent. Ms. Gandhi will also be authorised to nominate the new AICC delegates from Delhi as also the new team of office-bearers.

The present incumbent, Ram Babu Sharma, appears to be the favourite for re-nomination as he hardly faces any serious opposition from any camp. The camp led by the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, has been marginalized with Mr. Sharma strengthening his position in the party by having his own people inducted as PCC delegates.

The meeting of the PCC delegates, whose names still remain a mystery, in all likelihood is expected to pass a resolution authorising Ms. Gandhi to nominate the new PCC chief as well as the AICC delegates. As Mr. Sharma has been working with the old team of office-bearers and did not induct any of his own people as part of the previous set-up, "we will leave it to the Congress president to decide everything. It is her wish whomsoever she wants to nominate in the team or as the PCC president,'' Mr. Sharma said.

PCC delegates

It is understood that the Union Minister for Programme Implementation, Oscar Fernandes, who is in charge of organisational polls, has not given the approval for the entire list of PCC delegates and some names are still pending. However, a majority of the names have been cleared and the Chief Minister's camp has got very little say or representation in the list. Tuesday's meeting will be presided over by the Pradesh Returning Officer, Mahesh Joshi, and is being seen as a mere formality. Mr. Sharma is likely to have a larger say in the constitution of the new team and will induct his own men to run the affairs of the organisation. Mr. Sharma has been able to highlight the supremacy of the party over the Government and had managed to upset the calculations of the Chief Minister by getting this point of view endorsed by the party high command.

Controversy

The organisational polls in the Capital have been marred by controversy with protests being lodged following induction of certain names with doubt credentials as PCC delegates. However, Mr. Sharma took all his colleagues into confidence and the list of PCC delegates was changed a number of times to protect the interests of senior leaders like the former DPCC president, Shubash Chopra, former Ministers, Ajay Maken and Pervez Hashmi, and some other leaders who had raised objections in the original list of PCC delegates.

Interestingly, the number of AICC delegates is also going to go up to 20 as against 14 earlier in view of the increased strength of the PCC delegates and the increase in the number of blocks from 89 to 140. Already there is hectic lobbying going on to get enlisted as PCC delegate as nomination of a leader by the party high command as an AICC delegate is termed as prestigious.

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