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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Ex-Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar joins AAP

Kumar, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, had quit as president of the faction-ridden Jharkhand Congress.

ranchi Updated: Sep 20, 2019 01:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Ranchi
Ajoy Kumar and Manish Sisodia in New Delhi on Thursday.
Ajoy Kumar and Manish Sisodia in New Delhi on Thursday. (HT FILE)
         

In a jolt to the Congress, its former Jharkhand unit president Ajoy Kumar joined the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday, just over a month after he quit the party post on a bitter note after a showdown with senior leaders of the party’s state unit.

On August 9, Kumar, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, had quit as president of the faction-ridden Jharkhand Congress. In his resignation letter, 57-year-old Kumar, a 1986-batch IPS officer and once considered close to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, had levelled serious allegations against his senior party colleagues, including incumbent Jharkhand unit chief Rameshwar Oraon, Subodh Kant Sahay, Pradeep Balmuchu and Furqan Ansari.

He had accused them of placing “personal interests” above the party and “indulging in corrupt” practices.

Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Jamsedhpur, was appointed the Jharkhand Congress chief in November 2017.

Joining the AAP at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday in the presence of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Kumar said he was joining the party to contribute in the “alternative politics” it was providing through its governance in Delhi.

“The AAP government has done great work in the field of education, health, power and water. It needs to be taken in other parts of the country,” Kumar said.

Reacting to the development, Jharkhand Congress chief advised Kumar to check his habit of changing parties frequently. “Changing parties does not help in building one’s image. Staying at one place surely gains respect,” Oraon told media persons.

Kumar started his political journey in 2011 when he contested Lok Sabha by-election from Jamshedpur, where he was posted as an SSP during his police service, on a ticket of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) led by Babulal Marandi and won.

However, he lost the seat in 2014 general election. He subsequently joined the Congress in August 2014 and was appointed Congress national spokesperson. In November 2017, he was appointed Jharkhand Congress president.

After the Lok Sabha elections this year, he had announced to contest from Jamshedpur (west) seat in the upcoming Jharkhand assembly elections.

Sources in the AAP’s Jharkhand unit said though they were still not clear about the role of Kumar in the state unit, the party was set to contest a few seats in the upcoming assembly elections.

“We are not sure of his role decided by the central leadership. The state unit office-bearers are already working in strengthening the party organisation. We have identified a few seats where we would surely contest in the assembly elections,” said an office-bearer of the state unit.

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 01:59 IST

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