State Times News Jammu: Former minister Pawan Gupta and four others joined the BJP here on Sunday and pledged to strengthen the party at the grassroots level, a party spokesperson said. Gupta parted ways with the BJP after being denied ticket in 2014 assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. He contested as an independent from Udhampur seat and won. Former Reasi MLA Baldev Raj Sharma, social worker Ashwani Chrungoo, former general secretary of Youth Congress Raman Suri and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad — student wing of the BJP — activist Raman Sharma also joined the party, the spokesperson said. All five joined the BJP in the presence of national general secretary Ram Madhav, state president Ravinder Raina, Union Minister Jitendra Singh and other senior leaders at the party headquarters here, he said. Gupta (56) was the finance minister in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. However, he was dropped from the council of ministers when Mehbooba Mufti took over as the chief minister in 2016 following Sayeed’s death.
Welcoming the party’s new members, Madhav said, “We have to work to the extent that there will be nobody left to open offices of political parties which looted the nation and innocent masses for decades together.”
Terming the joining of Gupta and Sharma “Ghar Wapsi”, he said it would add to the core strength of the organisation.
The leaders, after joining the party, said they will work to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.
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