Ahead of polls,BJP’s minority cell members defect to Cong

In a blow to the BJP ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections later this year,several leaders from the party’s minority wing in the Northeast district late on Monday defected to the Congress.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2013 1:51 am

In a blow to the BJP ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections later this year,several leaders from the party’s minority wing in the Northeast district late on Monday defected to the Congress.

Even as the BJP downplayed the issue claiming only disgruntled party members jumped the ship,the Congress insisted that more might soon follow.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president J P Agarwal on Monday night welcomed the members of the BJP’s minority wing from the Northeast district and gave them membership in the Congress.

Those who defected were accompanied by Seelampur MLA and Delhi Wakf Board chairman Mateen Ahmed and former BJP leader Mohammed Nadeem.

“I welcome them all and am happy that they left an opportunistic party and joined the Congress. BJP leaders have been spreading poison in their speeches and are trying to mislead the country,” Agarwal said.

He said those who defected included district general secretaries,vice-presidents,secretaries,members and block presidents.

But the BJP denied the defection would affect the party. BJP minority cell president Aatif Rashid said most of the members who jumped ship were disgruntled.

“This will not affect the party in any way. Mohammed Nadeem was expelled from the BJP last year for anti-party activities and has been looking to join any political party. It seems he found the Congress,” Rashid said. He also denied any senior office bearers had defected.

BJP leaders who joined the Congress on Monday included Aslam Shafi,Syed Asad,Gul Sanowar,Sameer Ilahi,Feroze Shafi,Yusuf Malik,Mohammed Nazeem and at least 75 other minority cell office-bearers.

According to Mateen Ahmed,Muslims of Delhi would only support the Congress in the coming Assembly elections.

“They will help elect the Congress party to power once again,and teach the BJP a lesson,” Ahmed said.

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