Chandigarh: The Congress on Monday got a fillip as eight former MLAs joined the party under the leadership of former chief minister and leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state party chief Udai Bhan.
They were Sharda Rathore, Ram Niwas Ghodela, Naresh Selwal, Parminder Singh Dhull, Jile Ram Sharma, Rakesh Kamboj, Rajkumar Valmiki, Subhash Chaudhary and Kishanlal Panchal.
Hooda said such a large number of veteran leaders joining together is reflective of the sentiments of the people. He said it was clear that the public sentiments are with the Congress.
Speaking on the occasion, Udai Bhan said that all the leaders who join the Congress represent different classes and communities. Of these, two are Kambojas, one Brahmin, one Jat, two Scheduled Castes, one Rajput, one from the Lohat and one Prajapati.
Sharda Rathore was an MLA from Ballabhgarh seat of Faridabad district from 2005 to 2009. She won the 2005 election by a margin of 34,076 votes. She left the Congress party and joined the BJP in August 2019, before the last assembly elections.
Ram Niwas Ghodela was elected MLA from Barwala assembly constituency in the 2009. In 2019, he contested as an independent candidate and stood third with 17,471 votes. Naresh Selwal was elected MLA in 2009 from Uklana (Reserved) in Hisar district.
Likewise, Parminder Singh Dhull was elected MLA on INLD ticket from Julana seat of Jind district in 2009 and 2014 and the margin of victory in both the elections was more than 10,000 votes. He contested on BJP ticket in 2019 and stood second by getting 37,749 votes. Jile Ram Sharma was MLA from Assandh seat of Karnal district in 2009.
Likewise, Rakesh Kamboj was MLA from Indri seat of Karnal district in 2005. Contesting as an independent in 2019, he took 46,659 votes and came second. Rajkumar Valmiki, son of Das Ram Valmiki, was the secretary of the Youth Congress from 1985 to 1991. He was the MLA from Jundla, from 1991 to 1996 and held the post of Chief Parliamentary Secretary. At present, he was in-charge of Aam Aadmi Party from Ambala.
Subhash Chaudhary, a former minister and was elected from Jagadhri assembly constituency from 1996 to 2000 and was an MLA from 2005 to 2009.
Panchal, the state president Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP), had contested Lok Sabha elections from Rohtak in 2019 and fought the assembly elections from Bahadurgarh. Kishan Lal Panchal left the LSP and joined Congress party.