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Ex-AAP MP Dharamvir Gandhi joins Congress

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Apr 1 (PTI) Former AAP MP from Punjab's Patiala Dharamvir Gandhi on Monday joined the Congress in the presence of senior party leaders here.

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His joining comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi is likely to contest as a Congress candidate from the Patiala seat.

Gandhi, 72, said he felt privileged on joining the Congress as it was the only party that was fighting against communal polarisation and threat to the democracy and constitution in the country.

He won the Lok Sabha election as an AAP candidate in 2014 by defeating Preneet Kaur from Patiala.

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Gandhi, who is a doctor by profession, later quit the AAP in 2016 and formed his own outfit Nawan Punjab Party, which he merged with the Congress on Monday.

Party leaders Pawan Khera and AICC in-charge for Punjab Devender Yadav, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and CLP leader Pratap Singh Bajwa welcomed Gandhi into the party fold.

Bajwa said the Congress will be strengthened with his joining while Warring said such professionals joining the the party is a good sign.

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Welcoming the former AAP MP into the party, Yadav said Gandhi will prove to be a great asset for the party as he has huge social standing. He said Gandhi was attracted by the Congress ideals of secularism and its commitment to protect the constitution and democracy.

He pointed out that social and economic disparities in the country were growing day by day. He said his sole purpose was to serve the people and he realised that he could do it best with the Congress party, no matter in what capacity.

"I realised soon that the Aam Aadmi Party was not the party of my ideals. After Rahul Gandhi started his Bharat Jodo Yatra, I was impressed as these are not ordinary times and in such times one should stand with secular forces who raise people's issues and stand against religious polarisation," he said.

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He added that he had gone to Kanyakumari and joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra there as well as in Punjab and Srinagar.

The former MP also said the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are not ordinary as it will decide the future of our country.

"I want to be seen in the right side of history in the coming elections and that is why I am with the Congress," he noted.

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He said he is not in the Congress for any ticket or seat.

"I have a duty towards people. I would urge everyone who believe in pluralism and democracy, should join the Congress. In February 2015 I quit the party, I have nothing personal against AAP or Arvind Kejriwal," Gandhi said.

"I have no aspirations for electoral politics. I am in Congress for different, historical reasons. It has nothing to do with the Lok Sabha elections. If Congress feels I am right kind of person to defeat Preneet Kaur, I will defeat her. I will fight this war as it needs to be fought," the former MP added.

"The Congress does not need me but I need the Congress. Going by which way the country is moving towards in the wake of dictatorship, we have to fight against such forces," Gandhi said.

Several colleagues of his party including Rachhpal Singh Jauramajra, a prominent farmer leader, Harmeet Kaur Brar, Narinder Sandhu and others also joined the Congress along with him. PTI SKC RPA

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