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Front seat for Jagdish Tytler at Congress event sparks row

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 17, 2019 00:18 IST
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Three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday took charge as the president of the Delhi Congress at a ceremony which was marred by controversy over the presence of Jagdish Tytler, an accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Rival parties were quick to attack the Congress over Tytler sitting in the front row at the event, alleging that the incident had exposed the 'anti-Sikh' face of the party.
However, Dikshit backed Tytler saying he was a Congressman and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party for looking at things in a 'narrow way'.

 

"It's a very narrow way of looking at things. After all he is a Congressman. The Congress has not shunted him out and he has not gone away from the party. So, why make an issue out of a non-issue," she told PTI.

Tytler, who remains sidelined in the party, was seated along with other party leaders including Dikshit on the stage where the function took place at the Delhi Congress office.

The AAP alleged that the incident exposed the Congress's anti-Sikh face and demanded that the party leaders clear their stand on Tytler.

Three new working presidents -- Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilothia -- also took charge along with Dikshit.

The enthused workers greeted the 80-year-old former Delhi chief minister at the Deendayal Upadhyay Marg with slogans such as 'Sheila Dikshit ayi hai, badlav ki andhi layi hai (Sheila Dikshit has come, she has brought change)'.

Dikshit asserted that she was not in favour of an alliance with the AAP for the upcoming parliamentary polls.

"It (alliance) is not there right now. We have not thought about it specially after what they (AAP) said in Delhi Assembly about Rajiv ji. I have already said that I am not in favour of it at all," she told PTI after the oath-taking ceremony.

The area around Delhi Congress office at Rajiv Bhawan wore a festive look as a large number of party workers and leaders anticipating the revival of the party under the leadership Dikshit thronged to attend the ceremony.

With Dikshit at the helm of affairs, the party is looking to revive its fortunes in the national capital after a series of poll debacles starting with losing power in 2013.

Dikshit said she will take the party to new heights in Delhi and sought the help of ground-level workers. She also said the Congress will make full efforts to win all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

She was appointed to the post by party president Rahul Gandhi after Ajay Maken stepped down citing health problems, earlier this month.

Speaking at the event, Maken said people want the Congress back for development to take place and cited achievements such as Metro connectivity, CNG-based transport system, power reforms and a network of flyovers, in the party's rule under Dikshit.

"This huge gathering attending the charge-taking function of Sheila ji will rob the BJP and AAP of their sleep," he asserted.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said the entire country is looking up to Delhi Congress and Dikshit to remove those from power who practice the politics of division.

The AICC in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko said Dikshit turned Delhi into a modern city as a chief minister and assured that all the leaders and workers stood with her in reviving the party in the national capital.

Senior Congress leaders Karan Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Sandip Dikshit and almost all the top leaders of its Delhi unit attended the function.

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