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In boost for Congress, 8 ex-MLAs join party in Haryana

Welcoming them, Hooda said, “It is clear that the public sentiments are with the Congress. The party is getting a strong response from the public as it is the only option for the future.”


Updated: May 24, 2022 8:26:05 am
The former MLAs after joining Congress with state party chief Udai Bhan, former CM, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and Rajya Sabha MP, Deepender Hooda, at Haryana Congress Bhawan in Chandigarh on Monday. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

The Congress in Haryana received a shot in the arm Monday as eight former legislators, including a former minister, joined the party. The eight, including two who had earlier left the Congress, were welcomed into the party by Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda and HPCC president Udai Bhan.

Those who joined the party include Sharda Rathore, who had quit Congress to join BJP in 2019, Ram Niwas Ghodela, Naresh Selwal, Parminder Singh Dhul, Jile Ram Sharma, Rakesh Kamboj, Rajkumar Valmiki and Subhash Chaudhary. Along with them, Loktanter Suraksha Party’s Kishanlal Panchal also joined Congress.

Welcoming them, Hooda said, “It is clear that the public sentiments are with the Congress. The party is getting a strong response from the public as it is the only option for the future. The party is on a comeback in Haryana,” Hooda said.

Udai Bhan said that leaders who joined Congress, represent different classes and communities. “Two represent Kamboj community, one Brahmin, one Jat, two Scheduled Castes, one Rajput, one from the Lohat and one from Prajapati community. This gives a clear indication that all sections are with the Congress,” said Udai Bhan, adding that their joining will give more strength to the party.

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“Now everyone will work together to take the organization forward,” he added.

Profiles

Sharda Rathore was elected MLA on Congress ticket from Ballabhgarh in Faridabad in 2005, defeating her nearest rival by a margin of 34,076 votes. She left the Congress and joined the BJP in August 2019, ahead of the state Assembly elections. Congress is expecting that her return will strengthen the party in Faridabad.

Ram Niwas Ghorela was elected to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha in 2009 from Barwala constituency. In 2019, he contested as an Independent and stood third securing 17,471 votes.

Naresh Selwal entered the Haryana Vidhan Sabha in 2009 from Uklana (Reserved) in Hisar district. With his return, the Congress is aiming to make further inroads in the Scheduled Caste community.

Parminder Singh Dhull was twice elected MLA on INLD ticket from Julana seat of Jind district in 2009 and 2014. In both elections, his victory margin was more than 10,000 votes. He contested the 2019 Assembly election as a BJP candidate and stood second.

Jile Ram Sharma is a one-term MLA from Assandh constituency in Karnal and was elected in 2009. He has a strong hold in the region and among the Brahmins.

Rakesh Kamboj was elected MLA from Indri seat of Karnal in 2005. He stood third from the same seat as a HJC candidate in 2009 and 2014. Contesting as an independent in 2019, he garnered 46,659 votes and came second.

Raj Kumar Valmiki, a former the secretary of the Youth Congress, was elected MLA from Jundla in 1991 and was appointed chief parliamentary secretary. He contested the Lok Sabha elections from Ambala in 1998 and secured 1,75000 votes. In 2014, he against contested from Ambala parliamentary seat and got around 3 lakh votes. He was the chairman of the Scheduled Caste Finance and Development Corporation from 2006 to 2014. Prior to joining the Conghress, he was Ambala in-charge of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Subhash Choudhary, a two-term MLA from Jagadhri constituency — 1996 and 2005 — also remained a minister from 1996-2001.

Kishan Lal Panchal is the state president of Loktantra Suraksha Party and had contested Lok Sabha elections from Rohtak in 2019 and assembly elections from Bahadurgarh.

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