Cong pulls state unit chief out of poll fray

At a time when parties are shifting to the top gear in campaigning, the Congress on Sunday pulled its Delhi unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely out of the electoral race.

The party has said Lovely has to look after the organisational aspect of the campaign, and should not be bogged down by his own election.

There were murmurs of Lovely being upset over the Congress bringing in his former Delhi government colleague Ajay Maken as chairman of the campaign committee for the elections.

However, Maken rubbished any such talk, saying he, Lovely and Haroon Yusuf have always worked as a team, and would continue to do so. 
The Congress campaign has barely been visible in the national capital, with the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party early off the block. “The party has requested Lovely, the candidate from the Gandhi Nagar constituency, to withdraw from the contest and look after the organisation of the elections,” said AICC in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko at a press conference, flanked by Yusuf and Maken.

The new candidate's name is expected to be announced in a day or two.Lovely’s candidature for the February 7 elections was announced in the first list released by the Congress, which also had the names of the seven other sitting MLAs. In the December 2013 Assembly polls, the Congress had managed to win only eight seats in Delhi.
Chacko on Sunday also dismissed suggestions that Lovely had opted out.

“It is not a decision by Lovely. It is the decision of the party; the party has directed him,” he said.

Lovely was appointed the Congress' Delhi unit chief about 10 months ago. But, the party is yet to constitute the state and district Congress committees.

“The PCC is being run by Lovely and legislature party leader Haroon Yusuf,” said Chacko.
On why Lovely was named as a contestant in the first place, Chacko said the party had decided to renominate all eight sitting legislators.

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