Delhi Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Former MLA for the Delhi Congress, Asif Mohammad Khan, announced on Sunday that the BJP would field him for the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, only hours after Arvinder Singh Lovely resigned as the party’s leader. Khan stated that Arvinder Singh Lovely would take Harsh Malhotra’s seat as the BJP’s candidate from East Delhi.

“Differences within the party may exist. Lovely should have quietly gone to Mallikarjun Kharge ji and submitted his resignation if he was unhappy and wanted to step down. Had he not had malicious intent, he would have submitted his resignation in silence. In a sense, the BJP stands to gain directly from his decision to publicly release that letter to the media. Speaking to reporters, Khan stated, “I can say this: Lovely will be declared the candidate in place of Harsh Malhotra within one or two days.”

Lovely gave notice of her resignation as head of the party’s Delhi chapter, citing her affiliation with the AAP among her reasons. He claimed that although the Delhi Congress unit opposed the alliance with the AAP, it was still approved by the party’s top headquarters. Lovely further claimed that Deepak Babria, the AICC Delhi in-charge, had “unilaterally vetoed” every consensual decision made by the senior Delhi unit leaders in his resignation letter to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write the present letter to you finding myself handicapped and unable to continue as the President of the Delhi Party Unit,” he said to Kharge in his letter. August of last year saw Lovely named as the head of the Delhi Congress. In 2017, he left the Congress to join the BJP, but he soon rejoined the group after a year.

Kanhaiya Kumar, the Congress candidate for North East Delhi, was also criticized by Lovely for praising Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently being held in a jail related to money laundering. “The candidate from North-East Delhi has also been giving media bytes falsely praising the Delhi CM, in direct contravention of the party line and the local party workers’ beliefs,” he stated, adding that Kanhaiya supported the “false propaganda of AAP in regard to the supposed works done by them in education, health, road and electricity sectors.”

The candidacies of North East Delhi’s Kanhaiya Kumar and North West Delhi’s Udit Raj have caused discord within the Congress branch in Delhi.
Following Lovely’s resignation, the Delhi Congress members demonstrated against Kanhaiya Kumar. The party workers held black placards with the words “need local candidate not outsider” inscribed on them as they stood outside Kanhaiya Kumar’s recently opened office.
According to Lovely, the announcement of Udit Raj’s and Kanhaiya Kumar’s candidacies for the North West Delhi seat did not go over well with Congress leaders and members, who view them as “outsiders”.

The Congress fielded Lovely in the East Delhi constituency to compete against Gautam Gambhir of the BJP and Atishi of the AAP in the 2019 elections. He was not given a ticket this time around since the Congress is running for three seats in conjunction with the AAP.


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