Ajay Maken quits as Delhi Congress chief months ahead of Lok Sabha polls
Months before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, former Union Minister Ajay Maken on Friday resigned as the Delhi Congress chief citing health reasons, party sources said. The name of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi's former Minister Yoganand Shastri are doing the rounds for the party's new unit chief, said the source. "Since 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, I have got immense love and support as Delhi Congress President from party workers, the media and party President Rahul Gandhi. It was not easy in these difficult circumstances. I am grateful," Maken tweeted in Hindi, announcing his resignation.
Maken had replaced Arvinder Singh Lovely as Delhi Congress chief on March 2, 2015. According to a party leader, who wished not to be named, Maken has resigned citing health reasons. He said that Maken met Congress President Rahul Gandhi at his residence on Thursday evening around 4.30 p.m and tendered his resignation which was accepted by him. The source further said that the former Union Minister may be given some important role in the party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and he may contest from the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
In September 2018, the Congress had denied media reports that Maken has resigned from his post and had said that he had "temporarily stepped down" because of health issues. Maken had gone abroad for treatment around that time. The two-time parliamentarian had also resigned as Delhi unit chief in May 2017 after the party did not perform well in civic polls, where it came third. However, he had taken back his resignation after Rahul Gandhi, then party's Vice President asked him to continue.
(With inputs from agencies.)