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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Rebel Lal Singh may upset BJP applecart in Jammu, Udhampur

A former minister in the erstwhile PDP-BJP government in the state, La Singh was in the eye of a storm following the infamous Reasi rape and murder of a minor nomadic girl in January last year.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 14:29 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
BJP leader lal singh,jammu LS seat,udhampur LS seat
Former J-K minister and rebel BJP leader Lal Singh (in red jacket) has filed nomination from Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha constituencies. (Nitin Kanotra / HT File Photo )

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel Choudhary Lal Singh has entered the Lok Sabha poll fray as a candidate of his recently floated political outfit Dogra Swabhimaan Sangathan (DSS), vowing to end the “discrimination against Jammu region by successive Kashmir-centric regimes”.

Singh has filed nomination from Jammu and Udhampur constituencies, a move which may upset the BJP apple cart in the Hindu-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Once a “trusted lieutenant” of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Singh joined the BJP in 2014.

A former minister in the erstwhile PDP-BJP government in the state, Singh was in the eye of a storm following the infamous Rassana rape and murder of a minor nomadic girl in January last year.

Singh and party colleague Chander Prakash Ganga were sacked from the council of ministers headed by Mehbooba Mufti after questions were raised over their participation in the ‘Hindu Ekta Manch’ rally, organised in support of those arrested in connection with the rape and murder case which rattled the entire nation.He organised back to back rallies seeking CBI probe into the case and on July 22 last year launched the DSS to fulfil his political ambitions.

Since then, he has been harping on emotive slogan of “Jai Duggar, Jai Dogra” to stir the passion of the people in Jammu and strike a chord with them.

“Lal Singh has been trying hard to stir passion of the people of Jammu, flagging gross discrimination against the region by successive Kashmir-centric regimes. Though the BJP is confident of winning both the seats, the possibility of Singh taking away some of its share cannot be ruled out,” said a senior party leader, who requested anonymity.He was quick to add people in the state, especially Jammu and Ladkah regions, would prefer BJP to any other party in parliamentary elections.

On Tuesday, Lal Singh promised to restore dignity and honour of the ethnic Dogri minority of Jammu and Kashmir.

Demanding trifurcation of the state, he sought Union territory (UT) status for Kashmir and Ladakh regions and statehood for Jammu.

The BJP has fielded Union minister Jitendra Singh from Udhampur and Jugal Kishore from Jammu while Vikramaditya Singh, grandson of last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, is the Congress candidate from Udhampur.

Lal Singh’s popularity graph spiraled in Udhampur, Reasi, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts, which are part of the Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha constituency after he floated the DSS..

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 14:29 IST