NEW DELHI: In an attempt to put up a united front in the upcoming assembly elections, the Delhi Congress has started talks to reconcile with its former leaders who left the party in the last couple of years.
Senior party functionaries in the national capital said that they were “in touch” with those who had severed their ties with the Congress for various reasons, and were making efforts to convince them to return to the party.
“Discussion with a few of them is at an advanced stage. They have conveyed their feelings to us. They are ready to serve the Congress once again and want to strengthen the organisation in the assembly elections, which may be announced soon,” said a Delhi Congress leader privy to the development.
Another party official said that the development was crucial for the Congress in Delhi and the party had been struggling to keep its flock intact since its drubbing in the 2015 assembly elections.
“This will discourage those who were planning to jump ship in recent times. Former Congress members who are now with other outfits are not happy there. If we manage to bring them back, certainly it will boost the morale of the workers and improve the party’s prospects in the next elections” he said.
Former Delhi minister Rajkumar Chauhan left the Congress just before the parliamentary elections this year after he was denied a ticket to contest the polls from the North West Delhi seat despite his candidature being “finalised”.
He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. A former chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, Barkha Shukla Singh, former deputy speaker Amrish Gautam, and former legislators Surinder Pal Bittu and Bhisham Sharma had left earlier.
“We couldn’t win a seat in Delhi in the recent Lok Sabha elections but we were second on five of the seven seats. The Haryana and Maharashtra election results have proved that people still believe in the Congress,” said Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra.
Former Chandni Chowk MLA Parhlad Singh Sawhney joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in October as he was not pleased with the party after the re-induction of former AAP MLA Alka Lamba.