Lovely Delhi Congress’ new chief, Baghel for Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Dec 19: The Congress Thursday appointed Arvinder Singh Lovely and Bhupesh Baghel as the new state unit chiefs of Delhi and Chhattisgarh after the party’s rout in assembly polls in four states.

Lovely, a former minister and sitting legislator from Delhi, succeeded J.P. Agarwal who resigned after the party’s debacle in the elections.

Congress was reduced to eight seats from 43 in 2008.

The appointments would come into effect immediately, a statement said.

Called the “troubleshooter” of Delhi’s former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, the four-time legislator Lovely is reportedly close to senior party leader Ajay Maken.

“I have a task cut out for me. I would make sure that party workers connect to more and more people in Delhi,” Lovely told IANS.

A Sikh leader, Lovely entered politics in 1987 and was elected as the chief of Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress in 1990.

He held several portfolios as cabinet minister in the Dikshit-led Congress government, included urban development, revenue, education, and transport.

In Chhattisgarh, the Congress hoped to come to power under tribal leader Charan Das Mahant but could not defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite getting 39 seats out of total 90.

Baghel is a legislator and a former minister.