The Congress has announced the former BJP leader Kirti Azad as the new Congress president of Delhi on Friday. The post of the party president in the national capital had been vacant since the death of former CM Sheila Dikshit on July 20 this year. According to rumours, he has beaten the likes of Sandeep Dikshit - the son of Sheila Dikshit and JP Aggarwal - the veteran Congress leader of Delhi for the top post.
Kirti Azad was elected as Lok Sabha MP on the BJP's ticket three times from Darbhanga in Bihar. His father, Bhagwat Jha Azad was, however, a Congress chief minister in Bihar. The absence of a chief has impacted Congress's preparation for the assembly election in Delhi, which is scheduled to happen early next year. Kirti Azad has a Sheila Dikshit connection to his political career as in 1998, he was defeated by Sheila Dikshit, who was brought by the Congress from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. Azad was elected as an MLA from Gole Market assembly constituency in Delhi in 1993.
Before finalising Azad, the Congress leaders had tried to hard to select a name for the Delhi unit Chief. Congress President Sonia Gandhi had met a delegation of Delhi Congress leaders and Delhi Congress in-charge PC Chacko but a decision on the final name of the Delhi unit chief could not be made. In February this year, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Kirti Azad joined the Congress. He contested the election from Dhanbad which he lost to BJP candidate Pashupati Nath Singh by nearly 5 lakh votes. He had won 2014 election from Darbhanga as BJP candidate but he was suspended from the party after he went public with allegations of corruption against former Union minister Arun Jaitley in 2015.
Ahead of the Assembly elections in Delhi, an internal fight in the Delhi Congress is out in the open and had caused a delay in announcing the president of Delhi Congress. Amidst the internal fight, son of former Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi, late Sheila Dikshit, Sandeep Dikshit wrote an explosive letter to party in-charge for Delhi, PC Chacko in which as per sources, Dikshit has alleged that PC Chacko mentally harassed Sheila Dikshit in her last days.