After Joining BJP, AS Lovely Calls Sheila Dikshit ‘Burden’ on Cong

The Congress veteran switched sides owing to disagreements over the party’s choice of candidates for the MCD polls.

Ahead of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, former Delhi minister and local Congress unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, ANI reported.

A day after joining the BJP, Lovely hit out at his one-time mentor and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, dubbing her as a "burden" on the Congress.

Lovely was inducted into the party in the presence of party president Amit Shah, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and other senior party leaders.

“Sheila is completely dissociated from the Congress campaign for MCD polls and has turned out to be a burden, while I chose to join the BJP that has been holding soldiers’ interests high,” Lovely said at a press conference.

He also hit out at Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken , alleging that he loved "comfort" over hard work.

"Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari spends nights in slums, whereas Maken campaigns in Lodhi Garden so that he could quickly go back home. He should give a thought to what he is doing," he said.

Led by Lovely, 10 Congress leaders including party vice-president Sukhbeer Sharma joined the BJP.

According to media reports, the Congress veteran switched sides because of disagreements over the party’s choice of candidates for the MCD polls.

The BJP on Monday had expelled Savita Khatri, its candidate from the Narela ward for the MCD elections for allegedly allowing sacked AAP minister Sandeep Kumar to campaign for her.

Dikshit Blames Maken For Cong ‘Exodus’

Reacting to Lovely’s switch to the BJP, Dikshit said:

This is unfortunate. When leaders who got everything from the party leave, then whom do you trust?

Drawing parallels between hers and Maken’s tenure, Dikshit said that no member thought of quitting the party while she was in charge, and went on to blame Maken for party leaders jumping ship.

The Delhi Congress chief is not able to reach out to leaders as needed, that is also a reason for people leaving. The approach which a PCC head should have, of taking everybody together, is not there. The primary reason behind people quitting the party is them being ignored, not listened to. So, out of frustration, they are doing so. There is some problem with the prevailing system in the PCC. There is an urgent need to amend it.

(With ANI and PTI inputs.)