Arvinder Singh Lovely returns to Congress

Arvinder Singh Lovely returns to Congress

Arvinder Singh Lovely returns to Congress

The Congress on Saturday welcomed former Delhi unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely back into the party, a move that is seen as a signal to other leaders who left the organisation for greener pastures.

Lovely, a confidant of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, had quit the Congress in April last year to join the BJP and a battle of egos between Sheila and city unit chief Ajay Maken had peaked.

With Sheila and Maken agreeing to set aside their differences to put up a united face ahead of the bypolls to 20 Assembly seats, the Congress also reached out to leaders who had quit the party.

"I was an ideological misfit in the BJP," Lovely, told reporters at the AICC headquarters here on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Lovely met Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with Maken and senior Delhi leader Haroon Yusuf.

A popular leader, Lovely had joined the BJP ahead of last year's civic polls in the capital.

The Congress finished a distant third after the BJP and the fledgling AAP.

The defeat of the Congress prompted the party leadership to rework its strategies and send clear instructions to end factionalism to take on an aggressive BJP.

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.

In a bid to strengthen the Congress to take on an aggressive BJP in the upcoming elections, Rahul has sent clear instructions to state units of the party to end factionalism and reach out to leaders who had quit the party.

Rahul's immediate task is to end factionalism in the party units in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where leaders believe that Congress stands a good chance to defeat the BJP in the year-end Assembly elections.