Set back for Congress, Arvinder Singh Lovely joins BJP

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New Delhi : In a huge blow to the Congress party ahead of municipal elections in Delhi, former Delhi Congress chief and four-time MLA Arvinder Singh Lovely joined the BJP along with Delhi Youth Congress president Amit Malik on Tuesday.

One of the key ministers in Sheila Dikshit government, Singh held important portfolios such as education, tourism, urban development and transport. He was elected to the Delhi assembly from Gandhi Nagar seat for the first time in 1998 and had not lost a single election since then. He did not contest 2015 elections.

Singh represented the Gandhi Nagar seat in the Delhi Assembly. Party insiders say he displeased with the state leadership as he was sidelined after Congress drubbing in 2015 election.

Singh’s exit may hurt the Congress’ chances of winning back its once core voters in the slums and illegal colonies since he holds sway in many such areas in northeast Delhi.

Youth Congress leader Malik was also not happy with the distribution of tickets for municipal elections. He had protested outside the residence of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in March.

The resignation by the two leaders comes a day after the exit of Rakesh Rajoura, a former Delhi Congress general secretary and councillor. Rajoura also joined the BJP on Monday.


Earlier, Harsh Sharma -- a sitting councillor from Kashmere Gate war, party’s west Delhi leader Shiv Kumar Sondhi, and other district-level officer bearers joined the BJP on Friday.