In a major blow to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), its former vice-president Ashok Arora, former Haryana minister Subhash Goyal, MLA Pradeep Chaudhary, Gaganjit Sandhu and Independent MLA MLA Jai Prakash joined the Congress in the presence of AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad in party headquarters on Sunday evening
On Tuesday, Arora and his supports had resigned from the primary membership of the INLD.
With a political career of over 35 years, Arora had remained president of the Haryana unit of the INLD for more than 20 years. He announced his decision to resign from the party at a meeting of his supporters and associates called at the 'Punjabi Dharmsala'.
Arora had said he was leaving the party with a heavy heart as INLD patriarch Om Prakash Chautala had given him love and affection equal to his own sons. He said political circumstances have forced him to take the decision.
"In the present political scenario, regional parties do not have much role to play so joining a national party has become the need of the hour," he said.
Delhi: Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders Ashok Arora, Subhash Goyal, Pradeep Chaudhary, Gaganjit Sandhu & Haryana independent MLA Jai Prakash, join Congress Party in presence of AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad. pic.twitter.com/WNbp5rtwEd— ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2019
There were reports that Arora may join the Congress, but when questioned, Arora had said he would take the decision after assessing all aspects.
He said he was not like politicians who first remained with Chautala, then with Congressmen Kuldeep Bishnoi and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and finally joined the BJP.
According to political observers, the move would not only affect the results in assembly segments of Kurukshetra district but many constituencies in the state as he was considered a strong leader of the Punjabi community.
The INLD had been going through rough times ever since the party split.
Arora was elected four times from Thanesar constituency. Besides being senior minster in Chautala's cabinet, he was the speaker of the Haryana Legislative Assembly. The assembly polls in Haryana are slated for October this year.