New Delhi, Feb 10: Congress' chief ministerial aspirant Ajay Maken Tuesday quit as the party's general secretary after he lost from Sadar Bazar while his party suffered a rout in the Delhi assembly elections.
In a subsequent move, the Delhi in-charge P.C. Chacko also stepped down from office.
"Chacko's resignation is a mere formality as his term was supposed to end after the Delhi polls," party official Tom Vadakkan told IANS.
Maken, who was relegated to the third position with 16,331 votes Tuesday, was up against incumbent Som Dutt Sharma of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Praveen Jain of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a constituency that was a Congress bastion for three consecutive terms until Rajesh Jain lost it to the AAP in the 2013 polls.
Sharma reclaimed Sadar Bazar, the largest wholesale market in the national capital, with 67,507 votes.
"I take responsibility for the results and have decided to resign as general secretary of the Congress," Maken said.
Gandhi appointed Chacko as the party in-charge of Delhi in November last year.
He was filling in for party general secretary Shakeel Ahmad, who had requested the party president to temporarily discharge him of his duties for three months citing personal reasons.
Maken congratulated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal.
He said: "We want to congratulate Kejriwal and hope the promises he has made and the dreams he has outlined, he will fulfil them in Delhi. For strengthening of democracy, I hope that he will fulfil his promises."
In his mainstream political career that spans over 21 years, Maken, 64, has won three elections to the Delhi assembly and two to parliament.
Beginning his political journey as president of the Delhi University Student's Union in 1985, he became the youngest member of the Delhi assembly in 1993 at the age of 29. In 2001, he was transport, power and tourism minister in the Sheila Dikshit cabinet.
In 2003, he was elected as speaker of the assembly.
He first became an MP in 2004, and was re-elected in 2009 during which he had thrice been in the union council of ministers.