Former Cong leader Ashok Tanwar to launch new party on Feb 25

After leaving the Congress over differences with former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, state ex-party unit chief Ashok Tanwar is set to launch a new party on February 25.

The party will be launched on Thursday at the Constitution Club here along with an online launch at 25 places. The main programme would be in Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Ashok Tanwar when contacted did not reveal the name of the party and asked to wait till February 25. Tanwar, who was the Congress Haryana State President for more than five years, had left the party after his supporters were denied tickets for the assembly elections in 2019.

A close aide of Tanwar said the new party will not be Haryana-centric but a national party, and will focus on Dalits and 36 Biradaris of Haryana.

Tanwar will not be the first ex-Congressman to launch his own party. Bhajan Lal after being denied the Chief Ministership in 2004 launched his own party, the Haryana Janhit Congress, but later merged it with the Congress. Before that former Haryana Congress Chief Minister Bansi Lal launched the Haryana Vikas Party but later in 2004 returned to the Congress and merged his party.

Ashok Tanwar, once close to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is going the way of young leaders like Jagan Mohan Reddy who parted ways with the Congress and later formed the YSRCP which is now the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh.

However, in Haryana the Congress is the main opposition party while the BJP in alliance with the JJP is ruling the state. Tanwar is in search of a space between the Congress and the BJP and will aim for the Dalit votes in the state.

After the farmers agitation against the three new Agri laws, Tanwar has his eyes on the segment which is against the BJP and the Congress both, a close aide of Tanwar said and hoped that he will also be a rallying point for people in the Congress who are unhappy with Bhupinder Singh Hooda and are feeling sidelined in the party.

However it would be too early to comment on the amount of damage he can inflict on the Congress. Being from the party he may become a cause of concern in Uttarakhand which has a sizeable population of Dalits and may attract Congress workers who may not get tickets in the elections.