Ajay Maken made Delhi Congress chief

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday appointed Ajay Maken as chief of the party for Delhi, replacing Arvinder Singh Lovely, who resigned as Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) head after the party’s rout in the February 7 assembly polls.

Maken too had resigned as All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary after the drubbing, as he was heading the party’s election campaign in Delhi.

Speaking on the development, Sheila Dikshit, a three-time chief minister of Delhi, told IANS it was the party high command’s decision. “I congratulate him (for being appointed the PCC chief). It is now up to him to chart out plans ahead.”

Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told IANS that Maken is a “politically and electorally tested face of the Congress party with wide administrative and organisational experience”.

He said Maken has been a member of parliament twice, served as cabinet minister in the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government, has worked as minister of state in the central government and been an MLA four times.

“We are certain that in his leadership Congress will not only rejuvenate but emerge as a political force in Delhi,” Surjewala said.

Maken recently lost from the Sadar Bazar constituency in Delhi in the election during which the Congress failed to win even a single seat.

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has also made five appointments to the party’s various state units.

Former state minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir has been appointed party chief in Jammu and Kashmir and former union minister Bharatsinh Solanki has been made head of the party in Gujarat.

Uttam Reddy, a former minister in Andhra Pradesh, will head the party in Telangana. Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, a legislator, has been appointed working president of the state unit.

Former Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam has been made chief of the Mumbai regional Congress committee.