No outsiders as Congress candidates for Delhi Assembly polls: Kochar



As the Congress gears up for the upcoming Assembly polls in the national capital, the Delhi unit of the party has decided not to choose outsiders as candidates and instead back local leaders.

Speaking to IANS about the steps the party is taking for the upcoming polls, party leader Jitender Kochar said the party is forming Block Congress committees and after that it will enroll more people.

"The Block Congress will be reorganised and we have also sought approval from party President Rahul Gandhi for the party state executive which has not been formed for the past five years."

Last month, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit dissolved all 280 block committees after the party's debacle in the recent Lok Sabha polls, based on the recommendations of a committee formed by her to probe the reasons for the defeat.

Dikshit wrote to Gandhi last week on the issue.

Kochar said the party has also decided to avoid outsiders as candidates.

"The committee has recommended that outsider candidates should also be avoided. Only those should be given a chance who belong to the area," he said.

When told that outsiders have also been selected by the party, he said "it is wrong."

"Those who are working hard in an area but not given a chance will not agree. They should be given a chance," he said.

He added that the Delhi unit has also decided that the District President should be re-elected.

"Those who are working hard for the party at any level should be retained while those who are not doing any work should be removed."

The Congress, which could not bag a single seat in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, is set to contest on all 70 Assembly constituencies in the city.

"We are ready to fight on all the 70 seats. This time we will select the candidates in advance and will not wait till the last moment."

Kochar said the party will also appoint 280 block observers who will visit each block to collect feedback from senior local leaders on appointment of block presidents.

"In the last Lok Sabha polls, we came second and our vote share has also increased in Delhi. That was because of the leadership of Sheila Dikhshit."

He said people feel Dikshit should be given another chance and she should be the party's representative in the Assembly polls as the people have seen her work for 15 years as Chief Minister.

"The AAP and BJP are busy fighting and not working for the people. We have worked in all sections and fields and not just a few," he added. IANS