New Delhi: Three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is back to steer the Congress in the national capital as its state unit president. Her appointment comes just months ahead of general elections.

Dikshit, 80, will be tasked with improving the party’s electoral prospects in a state that was once the bastion of the Congress but where the party now faces the prospect of losing relevance as it failed to win any seats in both the previous assembly and general elections.

“I am honoured that the party has given me this opportunity," Dikshit said on Thursday.

State Congress incharge P.C. Chacko, who announced Dikshit’s appointment, said she would be assisted by three working presidents —Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilotia.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was the nemesis of the Congress in Delhi during 2013. However, there has been speculation that the two parties are considering an electoral understanding though both parties have officially denied it.

Dikshit, who replaces former Union minister Ajay Maken, is known to be more open to the idea of an alliance with the party’s arch rival, according to senior Congress leaders. She had earlier said aligning with AAP was the decision of the top leadership and that she would not question it.

Dikshit has stayed away from active politics since she lost the 2013 Delhi elections, except for being made the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. The party had joined hands with the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, after the announcement.

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