In a significant blow to former Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, over 30 founding members of the Democratic Azad Party (DAP), including its general secretary Nizam-ud-Din Khatana, are set to join the Congress in Jammu on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express.
The development comes ahead of Azad’s likely meeting with the Election Commission with regard to the registration of his new party. A senior DAP leader confirmed that the Azad has been called by the Election Commission today for a meeting.
Khatana, a two-time MLC, had quit the PDP to join Azad’s party in September last year. His son Chowdhary Gulzar Khatana is also quitting DAP and joining the Congress. A senior DAP leader said that both of them had joined the Congress earlier this month when former deputy chief minister Tara Chand and former minister Peerzada Sayeed returned to their previous party.
Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had tweeted, “Tomorrow, more leaders from DAP-Disappearing Azad Party will end their leave of absence and return to where they belong. Expect news from Jammu, which is all set to welcome the Bharat Jodo Yatra on January 19.”
The defections threaten the existence of the DAP which is yet to overcome the damage caused by the expulsion of the three senior leaders in December last year. Former deputy chief minister Tara Chand, former minister Manohal Lal Sharma and former MLA Balwan Singh were expelled by Azad. This was followed by resignations by nearly 126 of their supporters, including many founding party members.