Delhi: AAP councillor joins Congress, Maken says more will come

Sitting Aam Admi Party councillor Anil Malik had left Congress and joined AAP to contest MCD by-polls from Nanakpura ward in South Delhi Municipal Corporation last year.

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New Delhi, Feb 9: Delhi Congress's preparations for the MCD elections received a shot in the arm on Thursday with sitting Aam Admi Party councilor from Nanakpura ward in SDMC, Anil Malik, joining the party.

Ajay Maken

Welcoming Malik in the party, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said many other BJP and AAP leaders were in touch with him to switch over allegiance.

"We are getting hints from some other leaders from BJP and AAP. We will allow them to join Congress after giving due thought to their competence and local influence," Maken said.

It is a 'homecoming' of sort for Malik who had left Congress and joined AAP to contest MCD by-polls from Nanakpura ward in South Delhi Municipal Corporation last year.

"I had joined AAP thinking there will be something new to do but I found there were not serious about fighting corruption and Lokpal," Malik said. He charged that not even a 'single' meeting of five AAP councillors, who won by-polls, was held to train them about fighting corruption in MCD.

He also alleged there were no directions from the party leadership as to how to serve the people better. Incidentally, Malik had won the Nanakpura ward with smallest margin among the 13 wards for which byelections were held. He had defeated BJP's Nitin Sharma by 522 votes. Maken said that Malik joined Congress without imposing any condition for returning to party fold.

Malik is likely to be given ticket from Nanakpura ward in coming elections, although Maken said he has not imposed any condition for joining the party. Congress has decided to give party tickets for ward elections based on the feedback of party workers.

"The rules are same for everyone and the process of ticket distribution will be the same for all," he said.

The Delhi Congress chief also said the party gives serious consideration to corruption issue and those facing charges of misconduct will not be given ticket. He also rejected the view that delimitation of wards have put some parties in a position of advantage.

"There are advantages as well as disadvantages. The disadvantage of anti-incumbency is balanced by inclusion of new areas in wards. All odds are evened for different candidates as the elections approach," he said.

The civic body polls for 272 wards of three municipal corporations in Delhi are likely to be held in April. BJP had been ruling all the three civic bodies for 10 years.

PTI

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