JAMMU: A local Congress leader and 42 others, not related to the party, joined the BJP here on Tuesday in the presence of senior office-bearers of the saffron party.
Shailender Vaid, ex-chairman and convenor of the Congress' minority morcha, was welcomed in the BJP by its state president Ravinder Raina and national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna, who is also the party's J-K election in-charge.
Retired IPS officer and social activist Bhopinder Singh, Arogaya Yoga Sansthan convener Vipan Nischal, and Abhiudit Koushal, grandson of former Reasi MLA Rishi Kumar Kushal, also joined the party.
Among others who joined the BJP were social activists Gurmeet Singh and Lokesh Kapoor.
Hundreds of their supporters also joined the party.
Raina said the Congress is ruled by one family and Sonia Gandhi's return at the helm of party affairs recently proves that.
He said the Congress is not able to find a single leader out of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the time will come soon when it will not be able to find even a single activist outside the clan.
Khanna said his party is a perfect blend of patriotism and professionalism which acts as a catalyst in its growth.
He said that the party is able to pave the way for a new India which is evident in decisions taken by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Article 370.
He said the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 has undone all the "mischief" Jammu and Kashmir was subjected to in the past decades.
"Now there is right to vote for everyone in the state, and this is possible due to the party's ideology of keeping the nation first," he said.