BJP might be counting on Modi wave to see its candidates through in the J&K Assembly polls, but party candidate Lal Singh, a two-time MP and former minister, faces a tough battle in this Congress bastion which goes to poll in the final phase on December 20.
In Basholi constituency of Kathua district, Singh, who left Congress and is contesting the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections on BJP ticket, is fighting against sitting MLA Jagdish Raj Sapolia, who defected to Congress from BJP, besides National Conference (NC) and PDP nominees.
Singh was elected as MP from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in 2009 and 2004 on Congress ticket. He was elected to Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as MLA in 1996 and 2002 polls and was minister for health and medical education in the Mufti Mohmmad Syeed-led coalition government.
A traditional bastion of Congress, Basholi seat has been won by Congress seven out of ten times. Lal Singh won from the constituency twice as Congress candidate and his wife Kanta Andhotra was also elected MLA, besides Mangat Ram Sharma winning the seat four times.
The seat was won by Sapolia the remaining two times. While campaigning for himself in the constituency, Singh
had claimed that people of J&K were fed up of false promises made by Congress and NC and wanted developments in J&K as seen in the BJP-ruled states.
Top guns of BJP including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharati, Sushma Swaraj, Jitendra Singh, Smriti Irani, besides Navjot Singh Sidhu, Hema Malini and Vinod Khanna had campaigned for BJP candidates in Kathua district.