Instead of Lovely, Surender Sharma, who was a Block Congress Committee chief, will contest from Gandhinagar constituency.

Lovely himself suggested Sharma's name and assured party high command of later's victory in Gandhinagar. Ironically, Lovely's name was announced in the very first list released by the Congress for the assembly elections.

If the highly placed sources of the party are to be believed, Lovely's decision was conveyed by senior leader Haroon Yusuf to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi during the first meeting of Central Election Committee.

Sources also shrugged off speculations that Lovely's decision has anything to do with party's move to appoint Ajay Maken as the head of the Campaign Committee for Delhi assembly elections.

Lovely's decision of not contesting poll will further hurt Congress which was relegated to the distant third in last elections. The grand old party won only eight seats.

Even the then Delhi chief minister and Congress stalwart Sheila Dikshit had suffered an ignominious defeat against AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi assembly constituency.

The assembly elections will be held on February 7 and the votes will be counted on February 10. Delhi Assembly has 70 members.

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