A DAY after quitting the Congress and joining the BJP, former Pradesh Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely chose to refrain from campaigning for his new party. He will, however, be campaigning in his constituency, Gandhi Nagar in east Delhi, on Thursday. The Delhi unit of the BJP held a gathering to welcome Lovely into the party, with BJP national vice-president and Delhi Pradesh in-charge Shyam Jaju and MP Maheish Girri in attendance. At the event, BJP claimed that 10 more Congress workers have joined their party.
Reacting to the Congress criticising his decision to leave, Lovely told The Indian Express that he had been patient with the party even after he was removed as the Congress state unit president in 2015, and that he could not wait any longer. “In 2015, the Congress lost when Maken was the chief ministerial face of the party. Instead, I was asked to step down and he was promoted. I did not say anything despite this and stayed on,” Lovely said.
He added that he would have continued as a member of the Congress “had someone been available”. “I waited for two years and I could not have been more patient,” he said. During a press conference held at the BJP office, Lovely termed the decision of the BJP leadership to field new faces in the corporation elections as “historic” and claimed that no political party takes the risk of replacing established leadership.
The former minister in the Sheila Dikshit cabinet also projected a two-thirds majority for the BJP in all the three municipal corporations.
“I was feeling suffocated because the Congress has deviated from its objective of serving the people. Over the last few months, I have seen Manoj Tiwari staying in jhuggis while the Congress president is discussing the problems with the rich in Lodhi Gardens,” Lovely said.