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Congress Woes Continue, Delhi Unit Chief Quits

Congress Woes Continue, Delhi Unit Chief Quits

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Apr 28: As desertions from the Congress ranks continued, the party’s Delhi unit president Arvinder Singh Lovely on Sunday stepped down from his post in protest against Congress tie-up with the Aam Aadmi party, but unlike most other Congress leaders insisted that he would not be joining any other party scoffing speculations that he was eyeing BJP ticket for a Delhi seat.

Even as some of his supporters hoped that the party high command would try to convince him to stay on, the party’s central leadership promptly accepted his resignation “with immediate effect.” “His resignation has been accepted by the Congress High Command with immediate effect… We might face some challenges after Arvinder Singh Lovely’s resignation. But that does not mean any of our work will be halted or that our candidates might lose… I stopped him at many places because the people who should not have been promoted were getting promoted. And it caused a demoralising effect on the other workers of the party,” AICC in-charge of Haryana and Delhi Congress Deepak Babaria said.

Arvinder Singh Lovely had said in his resignation letter that the Delhi unit of the Congress was against the party’s alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party. He claimed that Mr Arvind Kejriwal’s party had come into existence after levelling false, fabricated and malafide corruption charges against the Congress party government in Delhi.

“This pain is not just mine. It belongs to all leaders of the Congress. I shared it with Mallikarjun Kharge in a letter,” Mr Lovely said at a press conference. “And those of you spreading rumours that I have done this because I was upset over ticket distribution, you know I introduced the candidates three days ago at a press conference,” he added.

Mr Lovely had pointed to the jailing of several AAP ministers in connection to corruption cases. Still, the Congress formed an alliance with Mr Kejriwal’s party for the Lok Sabha elections. Unable to protect the interests of the Delhi Congress workers, he was resigning from the post, he added. Mr Lovely said since he announced his resignation, around 35 leaders have called or met him.

Thanking them, he said he has stepped down only from the post of the Delhi Congress chief and is still with the party. “Right now, I have no plan to join any other party,” he added. The Congress and AAP, both part of the Opposition bloc INDIA and known for their differences, have entered into a seat sharing agreement in Delhi amid much resistance from the their rank and file.
Similar resistance elsewhere, especially in Punjab, has scuttled any possibility of seat sharing. In many seats, the two parties are in direct contest violating INDIA bloc’s one-on-one contest gameplan.

For Delhi Congress – swept out of power by the anti-corruption campaign by AAP leaders even before the party was formed, and tie-up with Arvind Kejriwal is abhorrent and the irony of AAP ministers’ arrest on corruption charges has not been lost on many in the Delhi Congress. Even so, after Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, several Congress including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Delhi Congress’s Sandeep Dikshit and Mr Lovely had extended support to him.

Mr Lovely claimed that the party high command unilaterally took decision on the three Lok Sabha candidates in Delhi rejecting views of the Delhi Congress. Mr Lovely was appointed as president of the Delhi unit of the Congress in August 2023 in an apparent move to revive the party’s fortunes in the national capital, where it has not been able to win even a single Assembly election or a seat in the Lok Sabha for a decade now.

Mr Lovely also slammed Congress’s North East Delhi candidate Kanhaiya Kumar for praising Mr Kejriwal. “In direct contradiction to the true factual position and the misery of Delhi Citizens, he endorsed the false propaganda of AAP in regard to the supposed works done by them in education, health, road and electricity sectors,” he said.

He said the alliance was a compromise and was not formed because of AAP’s “false propaganda of the development of Delhi.” He also claimed that decisions made by the Delhi unit of the Congress were being stalled by the Central leadership.




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