An open war on Thursday broke out in Congress over its whitewash in Delhi elections with Sheila Dikshit attacking the party's face in the polls Ajay Maken, forcing party president Sonia Gandhi to intervene to douse the fire by asking them not to squabble in public. [Maken-Sheila tussle: Congress's threats are both external & internal]
Hours after Dikshit attacked Maken and Congress in-charge for Delhi affairs P C Chacko virtually asking her to shut up, Sonia said it was unfortunate that senior leaders were quarreling in the open and asked them to show restraint.
"The Congress president said that it is unfortunate. She said that senior leaders should keep restraint. She asked me to convey to all senior leaders to refrain from making such comments on their colleagues," AICC in-charge for Delhi polls P C Chacko told reporters after meeting Gandhi here. [Worry for Sonai Gandhi! Knives are out in Congress over Delhi debacle]
Chacko and Delhi PCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had already put in their resignations, met Gandhi in the evening to brief her on the Delhi poll outcome. Maken, Chacko and Lovely had also met party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday evening.
The three will continue to discharge their functions till the leadership takes a view on their resignations.
Gandhi's strong message came as knives were out in the party over the debacle.
"I just pity him. Ajay Maken was not the way to put the right focus. He thought he would do all by himself. He did not involve anyone else. Quite obviously his style did not help the Congress party," 76-year-old Dikshit said, in a no-holds-barred attack on her younger rival in the party.
Chacko and Lovely strongly backed the beleaguered Maken, who was the party's chief ministerial face as the chairman of Congress campaign committee.
(With agency inputs)