Venod Sharma quits Congress, likely to join HJC


congressNew Delhi: Former Union minister and Haryana Congress leader Venod Sharma on Wednesday quit the party and is likely to join the Haryana Janhit Congress of Kuldeep Bishnoi.

Sharma, who is currently an MLA from Ambala, has been a close confidant of the state Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Sources close to him said he will address a rally in Kurukshetra on Sunday where a formal announcement of his joining the HJC is likely to be made. HJC is already in an alliance with BJP and Sharma’s entry may help the alliance rally non-Jat votes around it in the region.

Sharma had been in the Congress for over 40 years and was seen close to the power centre in the party. After he quit Hooda cabinet following media reports that he allegedly tried to influence a witness in Jessica Lal murder case, in which his son Manu Sharma was convicted, the party rehabilitated him by appointing him as the head of the state election campaign committee for 2009 Lok Sabha polls.