Arvinder Lovely Points To AAP

Arvinder Lovely said after readying the Congress state unit for the alliance, he is “facing insults”.

New Delhi:

Arvinder Singh Lovely, who stepped down from the post of the Delhi Congress chief, has strongly refuted speculation that he is about to change camp and has been acting at the behest of the BJP. Asserting that he has not leaked his own resignation letter to the media or resigned from the primary membership of the party, Mr Lovely said he stepped down because he felt unequal to the task of sacking people.

“I was being asked to remove leaders loyal to the Congress for generations. I couldn’t do that…  A party should reach out to disgruntled people, not alienate them further,” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

About his bigger grouse — the Congress tie-up with longtime rival Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi — Mr Lovely indicated that the alliance was costing the Congress its own turf. Under the deal to share the seven seats in the national capital, AAP is contesting four seats and the Congress three.

But “in none of the seven seats of Delhi, Congress leaders’ posters are up. AAP is not even using a single poster of Congress in the seats of Delhi it is contesting from,” he said, declaring that after readying the Congress state unit for the alliance, he is “facing insults now”.

For Delhi Congress — swept out of power by the anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare and AAP leaders even before the party was formed — a tie-up with Arvind Kejriwal is anathema. Their stiff resistance had scuttled the Opposition’s unity efforts in 2019. But with the Opposition call to present a united front this time, the two parties have come on board with a seat-sharing plan.

The unity, though, stops at the borders of Delhi. In Punjab and elsewhere, the two parties have fielded candidates against each other, throwing to the winds the plan of one-on-one contests that many Opposition leaders agreed was the only way to defeat the BJP.

Mr Lovely, who went to show support for Arvind Kejriwal after his arrest, said today that he was only carrying out the party high command’s orders. “I always toed the high command’s line – till now,” he told NDTV.

In his letter to Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Mr Lovely had pointed to the jailing of several AAP ministers in connection to corruption cases. Despite that, the Congress formed an alliance with Arvind 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 had added.

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