Former Congress leader joins PDP

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Jammu, Apr 21: A former Congress leader in Jammu and Kashmir has joined Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a coalition partner of the ruling Congress in the state, sources here said today.

They said Yashpal Sharma, who had lost December by-election in the Poonch Assembly segment as an Independent candidate to Congress nominee, joined the PDP last evening in Poonch district.

''As a Congress candidate, Mr Sharma had contested 2002 Assembly election in Poonch constituency but lost to NC's candidate,'' party sources told UNI, adding that he was denied mandate by the Congress in December 2007 bypoll. He, however, contested the election as an Independent candidate.

Meanwhile, former state Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed welcomed Mr Sharma in the party and hoped that his presence in the party would further strengthen it in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu province.

UNI

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