All India Congress Committee (AICC)

SRINAGAR — In a major boost to Congress in Jammu & Kashmir, four former legislators and three district development council members joined the party on Monday in New Delhi in the presence of its president Mallikarjun Kharge and other top leaders.

In a statement issued to the news agency KNO, the party said that 21 leaders, mostly from Democratic Progressive Azad Party and Aam Admi Party, joined the party today in the presence of Kharge, K.C. Venugopal, General Secretary (Org.) AICC and Rajani Patil, Incharge J&K.

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Those who joined the party include Yashpal Kundal (ex-minister and two-times MLA); Haji Abdul Rashid Dar (two-times MLA); Naresh K. Gupta (two-times MLC); Sham Lal Bhagat (former MLC); Namrata Sharma (former provincial president, Apni Party); Saima Jan (DDC member); Shahjehan Dar (DDC member); Prof. (Dr.) Farooq Ahmad (Aga) (former Director, SKUAST); Taranjit Singh Toni (DDC member from Suchetgarh); Gazanfar Ali (retired KAS officer); Santosh Majotra (State Secretary, DPAP); Rajni Sharma (Provincial Secretary, DPAP); Nirmal Singh Mehta (Zonal Secretary, DPAP); Madan Lal Chalotra (State Coordinator, Apni Party); Hamit Singh Batti (AAP leader); Ramesh Pandotra (SC leader AAP); Vaid Raj Sharma (AAP leader); Mandeep Chowdhary (Youth vice president, AAP); Nazir Ahmed Auqab, Maheshvar Vishwakarma and Jung Bahadur Sharma (Joint secretary DPAP).

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The exits are seen as a major setback to Ghulam Nabi Azad-led DPAP which was formed by him in 2022 to create an alternative to existing regional parties. The desertions have also dealt a severe blow to AAP which was trying to gain a foothold in Jammu.

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