Arvinder Singh Lovely returns to Congress

Arvinder Singh Lovely

In a boost to the Congress, former Delhi Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had quit the party to join the BJP in April past year, on Saturday returned to the Congress in the presence of party President Rahul Gandhi here. The move comes ahead of Delhi bypolls for 20 Assembly segements after the AAP MLAs were disqualified in the office of profits case. I had taken that decision when I was in a dilemma. It was a weak moment for me. Last year, however, BJP had hailed Lovely's joining as a "major boost ahead of the municipal elections" and claimed the step confirmed that "Congress is disintegrating" in the city. The news of Lovely leaving the party had come when Ajay Maken, the party's Delhi unit chief, was about to make a live appearance on a TV channel.

Born in a Sikh family, Lovely had been active in politics since 1987. He pointed out that Congress had lost all seven Lok Sabha seats in the capital when Lovely was Delhi Congress president.

Lovely, who was sulking in the BJP after being overshadowed by Delhi leaders Vijay Goel and Manoj Tiwari, is believed to have responded swiftly to overtures from the Congress leaders. He has served as the Minister of Education & Transport, Tourism, Art & Culture Language, UD, Revenue and Local Bodies for Delhi.

Arvinder Singh Lovely had joined BJP in April in 2017 raking up allegations of bribery in ticket distribution for MCD polls by the Congress. The former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit expressed her happiness over the rejoining of Lovely's into the Congress party. Upon hearing the news, Maken had broken down in tears as he struggled to control his emotions.

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