Sheila Dikshit faces flak from party MLAs

In a sign of growing strain in Delhi Congress, CM Sheila Dikshit was targeted by a senior party MLA.

Updated: Sep 07, 2012, 21:58 PM IST

New Delhi: In a sign of growing strain in Delhi Congress, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was today targeted by a senior party MLA after she tried to restrain him from criticising Education Minister Kiran Walia in the Delhi Assembly.

The Chief Minister also came under attack from a number of MLAs in a Congress Legislature Party meeting who expressed unhappiness at selective regularisation of the unauthorised colonies.

During the Question Hour in the Assembly, when Dikshit strictly asked Tarvinder Singh Marwah not to target any Minister while asking question, he shot back at the Chief Minister saying nobody can stop him from talking about pathetic condition of government schools in his area.

"Like you, I have also been elected to the House for three terms. It is my democratic right to express the views. Nobody can stop me from raising the issues," he said.

"I have not come to make any comment. I am stating the facts. If I do not raise important issues then what I am supposed to do here," he said, prompting sharp reaction from a number of Dikshit loyalists.
When Marwah criticised the Education department for "poor condition" of the school buildings, Dikshit asked him not to make any comments and told him to ask the question.

"Why you are making comments. No one should make comments while asking a question," Dikshit said angrily.

There were no opposition BJP members in the House as they had been suspended on Wednesday for the rest of the Monsoon session, which concluded today.

Later, talking to reporters Marwah slammed Dikshit, saying a senior MLA should be treated properly.

Marwah had to resign from the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister in March following allegations that he got his daughter admitted in a Delhi University college using fake documents.

Earlier, at a Congress Legislature Party meeting, a number
of MLAs criticised Dikshit for failing to regularise the unauthorised colonies in their areas.

They said it would be difficult for them to win next year`s assembly election if the colonies in their constituencies are not regularised.

"Why the colonies were regularised selectively. How will
we face the electorate? We are not happy with the way you handled the whole issue," a source quoted an MLA as saying.
The Delhi Government on Wednesday issued a notification regularising 895 unauthorised colonies out of 1,639 such settlements which were given provisional regularisation certificates in 2008.

Faced with criticism by at least four-five MLAs, Dikshit asked them not to make any issue out of it and assured them that government was trying to regularise as many colonies as possible.

The growing strains in the party had come out in open yesterday in the assembly, when Industries Minister Ramakant Goswami, a Dikshit loyalist, openly criticised senior Minister A K Walia on poor functioning of the Labour department.