At least 17 leaders, who had resigned from the membership of the Congress and joined former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad-led party, re-joined the grand old party in New Delhi on Friday.
They had resigned in support of the former Union minister, who later formed his Democratic Azad Party, which has now been renamed as Democratic Progressive Azad Party.
At a press conference, former Jammu and Kashmir deputy CM Tara Chand and former minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed along with 15 others made a homecoming.
Other leaders include Balwan Singh, advocate Muzaffar Paray, advocate Mohinder Bhardwaj, Bhushan Dogra, Virodh Sharma, Narendra Sharma, Naresh Sharma, Amresh Mangotra, Subhash Baghat, Santosh Manhas, Badrinath Sharma, Varun Mangotra, Anuradha Sharma and Vijay Sargotra.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member and Congress general secretary (organization), KC Venugopal said, “Our J&K stalwarts, who were previously separated from us due to misunderstandings, have now reunited with the Congress family. The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a significant moment in Indian politics and the changes we are witnessing are just the beginning.”
Former CM Tara Chand said that it is time for secular forces to join hands in order to defeat the “ill designs” on the ground. “The secular-minded people should join hands to protect the country,” he said.
“Congress party gave a ticket to a poor person like me, made me an MLA and leader of CLP (Congress legislative party). We made an emotional mistake and it caused losses to the party. Now, we are back,” the former deputy CM said.
In August last year, Azad left the Congress party, ending around 50 years of association which saw him serving as an MLA, MP, chief minister, and Union minister.
In his resignation letter, Azad had accused Rahul Gandhi of “demolishing the party’s consultative mechanism” and blamed the party’s desire to “foist a non-serious individual on the party for the past eight years”.