Editorial: Delhi Cong Crisis A Setback For INDIA

Editorial: Delhi Cong Crisis A Setback For INDIA

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 09:42 PM IST
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Arvinder Singh Lovely who has resigned as Delhi Congress chief | File Pic

The INDIA bloc made its first positive move when the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party came to an understanding to contest the seven Parliamentary seats in Delhi together, with the latter getting four seats and the former three. However, the Grand Old Party has run into trouble in the Capital as the state Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely announced that he was quitting his party posts less than a month before the Lok Sabha election in the Capital on 25 May. The ostensible reasons for his decision are the tie-up with the AAP and the choice of candidates for Delhi’s North East and North West seats. The Congress understanding with Arvind Kejriwal’s party was stitched up some time ago so Lovely’s late realisation that it goes against his values is a little strange. The fact is the state unit of the Congress has never been on board with the high command’s decision to strike a deal with AAP. Local Congress leaders view Kejriwal’s party as the reason for their rout in the Capital after being in power for 15 years under the leadership of Sheila Dikshit. The decision to field firebrand student leader Kanhaiya Kumar against the BJP’s Manoj Tiwari in North East Delhi and Dalit leader Udit Raj in North West Delhi has also ruffled many feathers in the state unit of the Congress. The two candidates are perceived as outsiders and Lovely’s contention is that the state unit was not consulted about their candidacy.

Though Lovely has claimed that he is not joining any other party, there are strong rumours that the BJP has agreed to field him from East Delhi, a seat he had contested in 2019 on a Congress ticket and lost. Lovely had quit the Congress earlier too and joined the BJP in 2017. After a few months in the saffron fold, he returned to the Grand Old Party claiming that he was a ‘misfit’ in the BJP. Lovely’s resignation comes soon after another Delhi Congress leader Rajkumar Chauhan also quit the party citing differences with Congress general secretary Deepak Babaria. The trouble brewing in the Congress unit does not bode well for the party’s prospects in the Capital where the BJP has managed a clean sweep in the last two parliamentary elections. There was some hope that the Congress-AAP tie-up would ensure a few seats for the Opposition alliance but with the latest developments these prospects appear bleak. The AAP, on the other hand, has acted decisively by announcing candidates early and launching its poll campaign. By roping in Sunita Kejriwal, who has gone to town declaring that her husband’s arrest is illegal, they are hoping to cash in on the sympathy factor. It is the Congress that is on a weak wicket in the national capital. Decisive action is needed for the party to get its act together.

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