In a stern reaction to PC Chacko’s statement where he pinned the blame for party’s disastrous performance in Delhi’s recently concluded Assembly polls on former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader late Sheila Dikshit, her daughter Latika Dikshit said that Congress which flaunted Sheila Dikshit’s work to seek votes has now blamed her for the poll drubbing.
According to a report by The Indian Express, Latika said: “Mr Chacko should be answering this… how his conscience allows him to say things like this for a person who has passed away.”
“I think we all have been brought up in a way that you don’t comment on somebody who is gone. I think it speaks volumes about Mr Chacko and I don’t think it’s worth commenting. She is gone and I am still mourning, it’s a great loss to me personally,” further responded the late CM’s daughter.
Yesterday, PC Chacko while submitting his resignation as the Delhi party chief had passed the buck for Congress’ disastrous performance in the Assembly elections to former Delhi CM late Sheila Dikshit.
Chacko reasoned that the Congress party’s downfall started in 2013 when Sheila Dikshit was the chief minister. Chacko added that the emergence of a new party AAP took away Congress’ entire vote bank and the party never managed to get it back.
Interestingly, Congress based this election’s entire campaign on Delhi’s “golden days” under Sheila Dikshit. In fact, the party’s campaign song also had Sheila Dikshit’s legacy as the highlight. “Ek Dilli thi vo jo Sheila ne khud se sawara tha. Fir se Congress wali Dilli.” (There was a Delhi that Sheila developed. It’s time again for Congress’s Delhi). Now, following disastrous assembly elections for the Congress party, PC Chacko was quick to pin the blame on late Sheila Dikshit.
However, senior Congress leader Milind Deora expressed his disapproval with PC Chacko’s assertions. Extolling Sheila Dikshit, Deora said that she was an exceptional politician and administrator, adding that under her Delhi was transformed and Congress became stronger than ever. Deora stated that it is inappropriate to shift the blame on her after her death.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera too had expressed his disagreement with holding Sheila Dikshit responsible for Congress’ abysmal performance in Delhi assembly elections. To reinforce his point, Khera pulled up vote-share figures Congress had with and without the leadership of Sheila Dikshit. In 2013, when Congress lost, it had a vote-share of 24.55 per cent. Vote-share in 2015 slipped to 9.7 per cent when Sheila Dikshit was not involved and in 2019, under the leadership of Sheila Dikshit, Congress’ vote-share again rose to 22.46 per cent.
After facing severe backlash, PC Chacko, speaking to The Indian Express, denied having named Dikshit. “I did not mention her name. I am being deliberately targeted,” he said.
It may be noted that Sheila Dikshit, who was Delhi’s chief ministers for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013, is praised by many as a good administrator. Her defeat in 2013, at the wake of the Commonwealth Games scam and country-wide protests against corruptions in the UPA government, had been a death-blow for Congress in Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal led AAP had ridden this anti-corruption wave to attain power at that time.
In the 70-member assembly, Congress could not open its account, failing miserably in sending even a single legislator to the Delhi Assembly for two consecutive terms. Congress’ tally stood at zero as it scored back-to-back ducks in the Delhi assembly elections.