Bhajan Lal's son merges party with Congress

Bhajan Lal's son merges party with Congress

Bhajan Lal's son merges party with Congress

 Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) led by Kuldeep Bishnoi today merged with Congress in presence of party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, but former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was conspicuous by his absence.

HJC was floated by Bishnoi's father and former chief Minister Bhajan Lal in 2007 after parting ways with the Congress as he was miffed at being sidelined by the party which preferred Jat leader Hooda as the Chief Minister in 2005.

"I had never separated from Congress. Differences occur in a family. Congress is in our blood. The differences are now over," Bishnoi, who took over the reins of the party after Bhajan Lal's death on June 3, 2011, said following announcement of the merger at 10 Janpath here.

HJC had forged an alliance with the BJP for the 2014 parliamentary elections. In the last assembly polls, the party fought separately and was reduced to just two seats -- Kuldeep Bishnoi won from his his father's traditional Adampur seat of Hisar while his wife Renuka Bishnoi won from Hansi.

"Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are our only leaders. We will work for strengthening the Congress. I will work as an ordinary worker of the party and I have not put any conditions or come back due to greed of any post," Bishnoi said.

AICC general secretary in-charge for the state Shakeel Ahmad played down the absence of Hooda, saying that he was also in favour of the merger.

"All were present here. Bhupinder Singh Hooda had an important appointment so he could not come. He will also join in and will be seen with other leaders. It is his intention also and he is in favour of the merger with all his heart," he said.

Ahmad said that the differences are a thing of the past. He said Bishnoi will be given responsibility in the party and he will emerge as a "strong leader" of Congress.

"Bhajanlal ji was a veteran Congress leader who had parted way because of some reasons. Now, those things have ended and it is irrelevant what one said in the past. Today the decision has been made to move together and Kuldeep will emerge as a strong leader of the party.

"The party leadership has made a decision and Kuldeep has decided to join. Now, it is time to forget the past and march forward strongly," he said.

Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar welcomed Bishnoi and leaders of Haryana Janhit Congress, saying it indicated the "rising graph" of the party.

"It indicates the rising graph of Congress reflecting on its role of a strong opposition in last two years. The country is again looking at Congress, particularly in Haryana. We will strengthen Congress in the state," Tanwar said.

The merger is expected to give a boost to the Congress among non-Jats. Bishnoi, however, asserted that he will work for all eople of Haryana, including the Jats and non-Jats.

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