Srinagar: Days after quitting the National Conference, two prominent leaders and close aides of party leader Omar Abdullah, Devender Rana and Surjit Singh Slathia, switched over to the BJP on Monday.
The former NC leaders joined the BJP at the party headquarters in the presence of several leaders of the saffron party, including Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan and Hardeep Singh Puri.
In a major jolt to the National Conference in Jammu, the two leaders resigned from the basic membership of the party on Sunday.
An NC spokesperson said in a tweet that their resignations were accepted by party president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah. “Dr Farooq Abdullah has received & accepted the resignations of Mr Slathia & Mr Rana. No further action or comment is deemed necessary,” the tweet read.
Rana, who was considered close to Abdullahs, has served as the party’s provincial president of the Jammu region. He had taken over the post in 2011 after relinquishing his office as political advisor to the then chief minister Omar Abdullah.
“I along with (senior party colleague and former minister) SS Slathia resigned from the basic membership of the National Conference. Now the voice of J-K will come from Jammu which should get its rightful place,” Rana, a former MLA, told reporters, PTI reported.
Following his resignation, Rana, who is also the younger brother of Union minister Jitendra Singh, left for Delhi on Sunday.
Slathia, a former minister, said it did not feel right to him to work for the National Conference anymore, ANI reported.