Whenever we think about Arvinder Singh Lovely, former Minister of Delhi and former President of DPCC, his speech in the Delhi Assembly during the 49-say AAP government in 2013 comes to mind. Lovely had been an efficient minister in the Sheila cabinet, but that speech made him a national level leader and earned him a lot of praise. For generations, his family had been committed to Congress, but just before the MCD elections, he left the Congress and joined BJP. But after eleven months, he realised that he was misfit in the BJP and thus returned to Congress. S Khurram Raza talks to Lovely on why he had left the Congress and what are his future plans.
You belong to a Sikh family which remained with Congress even after 1984 anti-Sikh riots, so what compelled you to leave the party?
See, at that time also I said that it was not a decision which makes me happy. That decision was very disturbing and painful. I also said that to run any organisation, the worker should be in touch with his or her leader. I am happy that Ajay Maken took the initiative and addressed that communication gap, which was the reason for my leaving the party. Now, after Rahul ji’s order I had no reason to remain in BJP.
Arvinder Singh Lovely: “When I joined BJP several media houses alleged that I was an opportunist, but I have returned to the party in the same atmosphere which was there at the time of my leaving, so I was opportunist neither at that time nor am I now”
You were in BJP for the last eleven months. How did you find things in that party?
See, I am from a Congress family. From day one after joining the BJP, I realised that I am a misfit in the party and that was the reason that I had never been active in the BJP. This was my first and last mistake. So, one can understand how I felt there.
On your return to Congress, did you seek any assurances? Have your grievances been addressed?
Question of assurances does not arise and my only grievance was the communication gap that existed in the party. Now Ajay Maken was humble enough to accept that there was a communication gap and that has been addressed now.
What you have thought about future?
I have to strengthen Congress party and will work for the people of Delhi.
What about your own political future?
When I joined BJP, several media houses alleged that I was being an opportunist, but I have returned to Congress party in the same atmosphere which was there at the time of my leaving, so I was neither an opportunist then, nor am I now. As far as political future is concerned, every politician wants his future to be bright and I believe that if the future of the Congress party will be bright, my political future will be bright too.
Who is the number one political rival of Congress, AAP or BJP?
The question is not who is Congress party’s enemy or rival, the question is who is enemy of people of Delhi. The problems that people of Delhi are facing like sealing and development, in this situation it is difficult to say who is villain number one. Congress will continue to raise the issues of the public.
The Election Commission has disqualified 20 AAP MLAs and one MLA is of your constituency. So if the byelections take place, will you contest election from that constituency as you didn’t contest the last assembly election?
During the last assembly elections, I was the President of Delhi Congress so my duty was to strengthen the party in the whole state and not to limit my services to one constituency, thus I took the call of not contesting at that time. It is the prerogative of the party to decide who will contest and who will not.