New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) In a setback to the Congress ahead of the April 23 civic polls, former Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely and former Youth Congress leader Amit Malik quit the party and joined the BJP on Tuesday.
“Former DPCC President Arvinder Singh Lovely, a former Minister, and former Youth Congress leader Amit Malik joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party chief Amit Shah,” the Delhi BJP said in a tweet.
Union Minister Vijay Goel, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and BJP’s Lok Sabha member from East Delhi Maheish Girri were also present on the occasion.
“Lovely’s joining the party will strengthen the party in several areas of east Delhi,” said Tiwari.
Lovely held important portfolios in former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s government, including education, tourism, urban development, revenue, and transport.
He was elected to the Delhi assembly for the first time in 1998. He has never lost an election ever since.
Lovely had spoken in support of former Congress Minister A.K. Walia when he threatened to quit the party over distribution of party tickets for the April 23 civic polls.
“After Arvinder Singh Lovely’s joining, I am getting loads of calls from Congress leaders. They feel suffocated in the Congress and want to join the BJP,” Goel said on his Twitter account.
In two separate functions held at the BJP office here on Tuesday, around 200 Congress office-bearers and workers joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of BJP National Vice-President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and MPs Maheish Girri and Meenakshi Lekhi.