Jugal Kishore Sharma, 50, state BJP president and Lok Sabha contestant from JammuPoonch constituency, besides being a first-time contestant for the parliamentary elections, is a two-time MLA from Nagrota constituency. He was elected as an MLA in 2002 and 2008.
Sharma, who comes from a humble non-political village background and is married to Usha, a housewife, talks about his rise in politics.
He says that b e fo re marriage he used to work as manager in the family business of his wife at Jhharkotili. “No, it wasn’t a love marriage. Neither of us thought of each other that way at that time. My uncle got me the job to look after the accounts of her family business where I worked for three years before returning to my native village Kishenpur,” says Sharma. In 1983-84, he drew a salary of Rs 300.
Fond of a particular Dogri cuisine -- saag and toda (spinach and maize bread), Jugal says as he is preoccupied with political work, he misses the dish, but makes sure that he has it once a month.
“I love to wear kurta pyjamas. I wear formal trousers and shirts occasionally,” says Sharma.
A religious morning walker who likes to exercise, Sharma rises at six and goes out for workout in the open regularly.
“Whenever I get free time, I take my son and daughter for picnic to historical places in and around Jammu to make them aware of the Dogra culture and heritage of our region,” says Sharma.
Hailing from a family of farmers, Sharma had no peer or family backing in politics and his plunge into the field came spontaneously.
“I was an active boy in my village. Some RSS workers spotted me and took me into the RSS fold in 1975-76,” says Sharma who could not pursue his studies after matric for want of proper guidance.