In a major political development, Congress leader and former MLA Shoaib Iqbal along with two other leaders on Thursday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Ex-deputy speaker of Delhi Assembly Shoaib Iqbal, MCD Councillors from Congress Aley Mohammed Iqbal and Sultana Abad joined AAP in the presence of Chief Minister and AAP's national convener Kejriwal.
Being an MLA for five consecutive terms before losing to AAP in 2015, Shoaib Iqbal has a stronghold in the Matia Mahal constituency in Delhi. He contested and won the 2013 assembly elections from JD(U).
Speaking on the occasion, AAP National Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said, "I want to welcome Shoaib Iqbal Ji and his team to the party with all my heart. I strongly believe that his support will strengthen the work that we have done for the poor in Delhi. His addition in the party will help take forward the development that AAP always believes in and is devoted to."
Owing to his keen interest in politics, Iqbal was an active student politician and leader and the secretary of the Zakir Hussain's Student Union. Iqbal contested his first election in 1993 from Janata Dal party.
He later joined the Janata Dal (United), where he headed Minority Morcha of the Party. He subsequently won from Matia Mahal for five terms in Delhi 1993,1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly elections. He has served as the Deputy Speaker of Vidhan Sabha from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining AAP, he was a member of the Indian National Congress.
Shoaib Iqbal lauded Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government for its pro-people initiatives and schemes for the welfare of all the communities. He said, "AAP has worked towards the welfare and development of the downtrodden as well as the Dalit communities in Delhi. I have full faith in the strength of the party, it will come back with a record-breaking win of 70/70 assembly constituency seats."
"I have worked with Arvind Kejriwal Ji during his 49-days government in Delhi, his attitude towards work is commendable. I believe people are fed up with the corruption and lies of the BJP, which can be witnessed in the recent elections in states like Jharkhand and Maharashtra. This election is completely one-sided and the people have decided to vote for AAP. I am sure that AAP will break its previous record of winning 67/70 assembly seats this time," he added.
The development comes ahead of the assembly elections in Delhi slated for February 8.
The polling for 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 8. The counting of votes will take place on February 11.
The key contest in the national capital is among the ruling AAP, BJP and Congress.
In the 2015 Assembly polls, AAP won 67 of 70 seats while the BJP could win only three. The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Delhi between 1998 to 2013, drew a blank in the election.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)