Former INLD Haryana chief Ashok Arora, 4 others switch over to Congress

New Delhi, September 15: In a severe jolt to the Indian National Lok Dal, its former state unit president and ex-minister Ashok Arora on Sunday joined the Congress. in presence of AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, Haryana PCC president Kumari Selja and Haryana Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda at AICC headquarters.

Apart from Arora, former Union minister and sitting MLA Jai Prakash, former INLD leader and Minister Subhash Goyal, former INLD MLA Pradeep Chaudhary and former Haryana minister late Jaswinder Singh Sandhu’s son Gaganjit Sandhu also joined the Congress.

Arora, a former minister, was the INLD president for over a decade. Goyal is a former minister and Chaudhary a former MLA. Jai Prakash has been a three-time MP and is currently an Independent legislator.

Congress general secretary 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.

Azad said Selja and Hooda have started visiting various constituencies and have started with Gurugram 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,” Azad 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.

Hooda hoped that the party would be further strengthened with the joining of these leaders.