Prominent J&K leaders from AAP, DPAP to join Congress tomorrow

Tony, Kundal and Namrta along with others quit AAP

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Aug 5: In a significant political development, several prominent leaders from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) are likely to join Congress Party.

According to the reliable sources in political circles, Taranjit Singh Tony (DDC), Yashpal Kundal (former Minister), Namrta Sharma and others, who quit the Aam Aadmi Party today, are all set to formally join Congress party on August 7 at New Delhi.
Besides, sources added, Democratic Progressive Azad Party’s Naresh Gupta (Ex-MLC), Haji Rashid (Ex MLA), Sham Lal Bhagat and a few others are also likely to join Congress party.
Sources claimed that former MLA and BJP leader Balwant Singh Mankotia was also in touch with the Congress Party even as he rejected such reports.
Sources told the Excelsior that these leaders from AAP and DPAP are likely to join Congress party on August 7 at the party headquarters in New Delhi, in the presence of AICC president Mallikaarjun Kharge and others.
Pertinent to mention that Taranjit Singh Tony, Yashpal Kundal and Namrta Sharma had joined AAP last year and were assigned signified responsibilities in the organization.
The trio submitted their separate resignation letters to the AAP National Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, informing him about their decision to quit the party.
In an open letter to Kejriwal, both Tony and Yash Pal Kundal have explained that they had joined AAP last year due to the good governance model implemented in Delhi followed by Punjab, but a grinding halt to the party activities in J&K has left them with no option other than to quit the party.
“It is unfortunate that the organizational functioning of Prabharis and Seh Prabharis who are responsible for reaching out to people, has come to a grinding halt in Jammu and Kashmir. One glaring example is the closure of the AAP office in Jammu for more than eight months,” they said.
Lamenting that no visible effort was made by Prabharis and Seh Prabharis to open the Party Head office in Jammu and they have been not even responding to telephone calls by party functionaries, Tony and Kundal alleged that despite repeated requests and efforts to approach the individuals responsible for extending AAP’s activities, their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
“With a heavy heart, I hereby resign from the primary membership of AAP and from my position as Chairman of AAP Jammu and Kashmir for Administrative Engagement and Minority Affairs. All the party activities have come to standstill in J&K. The closure of your office for the past more than eight months has left me with no other choice but to step down from the party. Panches, Sarpanches and all senior functionaries are all resigning today along with me,” said Tony, who is DDC from Suchetgarh.
He termed Kejriwal a competent leader, but claimed that those calling the shots in Jammu have lost track of the situation in the Union Territory and were not doing any favour to the party. “The urban local body and Panchayat elections are round the corner but there is no discussion on these leave aside formulating a strategy for the polls,” he said.
Narrating almost similar reasons behind her decision to quit the party, Namrta Sharma, who was president of Women Wing of AAP in Jammu Province, alleged that the top party leadership had virtually surrendered J&K apparently because of their thrust on other States and alliance with other parties.
Yashpal Kundal, who left Delhi late this evening after submitting his resignation, said that over 200 office bearers, including AAP District Presidents and Secretaries, have resigned from the party.
According to the sources, some senior DPAP leaders are also likely to join Congress because of internal bickering and their alleged sidelining by those calling the shots in the organization.
It may be recalled that several senior leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Peerzada Mohd Sayeed, Balwan Singh and others had also quit DPAP and joined back Congress.
Sources claimed that former MLA and BJP leader Balwant Singh Mankotia was also in touch with Congress and not feeling comfortable with the saffron party, particularly after the disqualification of seven Councilors of Udhampur Municipal Council, who are believed to be his supporters.
Sources said that Mankotia is camping in Delhi and today he met BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chug for apprising him of his reservations over some issues.