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Posted at: Nov 6, 2014, 9:05 PM; last updated: Nov 6, 2014, 5:57 PM (IST)

Profiles of Raman Bhalla and Tara Chand

Raman Bhalla – Leader with a mass base

Raman Bhalla is one of the leaders of the Congress who has a mass base in Jammu and Kashmir. It was the result of his connectivity with the common masses that he had survived the onslaught of the Amarnath land row and won the Assembly elections from urban Gandhi Nagar Assembly that too by defeating BJP’s stalwart Dr Nirmal Singh.

A law graduate from Jammu University, Bhalla had joined the Congress as block president of the Youth Congress in 1979. He remained active in student politics before joining the mainstream party. He became MLA in 2002 when he won the election from his home constituency of Gandhi Nagar. He served as minister in the PDP-Congress coalition government. In the 2008 elections, he retained his seat. He is known for accelerating developmental work in his constituency as he has art to manage developmental funds for this area. - DM

Tara Chand – Dalit face of the party

Tara Chand, who is the Deputy Chief Minister in the present coalition regime, is a Dalit face of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. He is a popular leader in his home constituency of Khour from where he has won three consecutive Assembly elections in 1996, 2002 and 2008 as Congress candidate. Khour was once a stronghold of the Jan Sangh, but it was all due to the work of Tara Chand that this segment is known as the citadel of the Congress. Hailing from the remotest border village of Chak Malal, Tara Chand started his political career as district general secretary of the SC/OBC cell of the Congress. Later, he was appointed as general secretary of the Youth Congress. During his first tenure as MLA, Tara Chand also remained Congress Legislature Party leader. In 2002 when the Congress formed the coalition government with the PDP, Tara Chand was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. - DM


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