Ex-INLD president Arora, four others join Congress
Congress general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Haryana, Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with former Union minister and Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kumari Selja and Congress legislature party leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, welcomed the leaders into the Congress-fold.Updated: Sep 17, 2019 03:44 IST
Four leaders of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), including party’s former Haryana president Ashok Arora, on Sunday joined the Congress at New Delhi.
Former Congress MP, Jai Prakash, who contested and won as an Independent candidate in 2014 assembly polls also returned to the party fold.
Former minister Subhash Goyal, former MLA from Kalka, Pradeep Chaudhary and Gaganjot Sandhu, son of deceased INLD MLA from Pehowa Jaswinder Sandhu, have also been inducted.
Congress general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Haryana, Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with former Union minister and Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kumari Selja and Congress legislature party leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, welcomed the leaders into the Congress-fold.
While return of Prakash, a Jat leader, was expected, induction of Arora, a Punjabi leader and Goyal who hails from Vaishya community is seen as an important development.
Arora has pockets of influence in Kurukshetra and Karnal area while Goyal commands a certain political sway in Hisar region.
Congress party sources said the entry of Chaudhary, a Gujjar, and Sandhu, a Sikh, would add to the party’s diversity quotient, thus presenting more options to the party leadership.
Newly-appointed Haryana Congress chief, Kumari Selja said the entry of the five leaders will strengthen the party.
“It also shows how much confidence people have in the Congress,’’ she said.
Azad said Selja and Hooda have started visiting various constituencies and have started with Gurgaon and Faridabad assembly segments as part of the party’s outreach initiative for the upcoming Assembly elections.
“Regional parties which do not toe BJP’s line are getting weak and their existence is under threat. Realising that only Congress party can throw a stiff challenge to the BJP, leaders of such parties have started to come under the Congress-fold,” Azad said.
“Despite difference in opinion, there are similarities in our idealogies because of which we have come together,” he added as he thanked them for their faith in leadership of Sonia Gandhi and in the ideology of the Congress party.
“Had the regional parties, which in the past weakened the Congress, been strong, then the BJP would not have risen to this level,” he said.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Sep 17, 2019 03:44 IST