Lovely's analysis of poll debacle miffs Cong MPs

Factionalism resurfaced in the city Congress after the statement of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arvinder Singh Lovely blaming all seven former MPs for the party’s defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Irked over his remarks, six out of the seven former MPs did not appear during the Delhi Congress delegation’s meeting with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung over the issue of water and power scarcity on Monday.

Only one former Member of Parliament, Ramesh Kumar of South Delhi, accompanied Lovely when he met the Lieutenant Governor.

The party had circulated press invites for Monday’s programme of meeting the LG with all former MPs. But on the absence of the six former MPs, a senior party leader said, “They were invited but it seems like they were busy somewhere else. There is no factionalism in the party.”

On Sunday, while defending Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on the party’s crushing defeat on all the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi, Lovely had said, “If anybody is responsible for the debacle, then it is all the seven MPs and myself.”

Hitting out against three former Union cabinet ministers – Krishna Tirath, Kapil Sibal and Ajay Maken – who lost their seats in Delhi, Lovely had said, “If Congress made me minister and if I lose, then I am to be blamed, nobody else.”

On Monday, Lovely came into damage control mode and denied saying anything against former party MPs.

“All I spoke about was collective responsibility for the party’s defeat in the city. I never targeted any individual. My statement was wrongly interpreted. I had invited every former MP to join the party’s delegation,” he told reporters outside the Jung’s residence.

After this ‘incident’, Lovely has become the second Delhi Congress chief to face factionalism in the party. Former city Congress chief J P Agarwal was also not in good terms with former chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

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