Polls over, Lovely back in saddlehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/polls-over-lovely-back-in-saddle/

Polls over, Lovely back in saddle

The Congress’s voteshare went down from 29.79 per cent in 2013 to 13.01 per cent in 2015.

Campaign chief Ajay Maken’s (left) role is likely to reduce while DPCC chief Arvinder Lovely will rebuild the party. (Source: Express Archive )
Campaign chief Ajay Maken’s (left) role is likely to reduce while DPCC chief Arvinder Lovely will rebuild the party. (Source: Express Archive )

After the Congress’s complete wipe-out in the Delhi polls, the role of Delhi Congress campaign chief Ajay Maken in the party is likely to “reduce”. Senior leaders said the job of rebuilding the party will rest with the state Congress and its chief Arvinder Singh Lovely.

“The leadership has met with me, Lovely and P C Chacko (AICC general secretary in-charge of Delhi). We have been going over the results and analysing our defeat. Since the polls have ended, the role of the campaign committee will also be phased out,” Maken said.

Sources said the party is now trying to figure out how to reverse the loss of voteshare to the AAP in seats that had traditionally been the party’s bastions.

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For instance, in New Delhi constituency where former chief minister Sheila Dikshit was unchallenged till 2013, the party’s voteshare has gone down from 52.2 per cent in 2008 to a mere 5.3 per cent this time.

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The AAP’s voteshare in 2015 was an incredible 64.34 per cent.

Similarly, in Seelampur — a Muslim stronghold — the Congress vote share went down from 46.52 per cent in 2013 to 26.31 per cent this time.

The AAP’s share rose from 12.99 per cent in the last Assembly polls to 51 per cent this time.

Talking about the increase in the AAP’s voteshare to 45.46 per cent during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, former Congress MLA Mateen Ahmed said, “We had raised the alarm then. But the party didn’t do enough and allowed the AAP to consolidate its votes.”

In Sultanpur Majra — a reserved seat and a stronghold of the party’s Dalit face Jai Kishan — the AAP’s voteshare rose from 28.74 per cent in 2013 to 55.7 per cent in the Lok Sabha polls and to 69.49 per cent in the 2015 Assembly polls.

The Congress’s voteshare went down from 29.79 per cent in 2013 to 13.01 per cent in 2015.

The party’s woes have been compounded after Jai Kishan allegedly beat up school children on Friday.

While the party refused to comment on the incident, sources said all former MLAs and candidates have been asked to refrain from any possible “negative publicity”.