In a setback to the BharatiyaJanata Party ahead of the LokSabha elections, the party’s former rebel leader Chaudhary Lal Singh has decided to contest on both the parliamentary seats in Jammu. Singh recently launched his own party, the ‘DograSwabhimaanSangathan’.
Singh was forced to resign from the cabinet of Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP government in April last year following the countrywide outrage over his participation in the ‘Hindu EktaManch’ rally organised in support of the accused in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case. A source close to Singh said the central working committee of the ‘DograSwabhimaanSangathan’ has unanimously decided to field Singh, a senior politician and president of the party, from both Kathua-Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch seats. “Lal Singh is fighting for the cause of Jammu and its people. He has a mass appeal in the state and caliber to win both seats,” KirtiBushan, chief spokesperson of the DSS told Singh will file his nomination paper for the Jammu-Poonch on March 25 while his nomination papers for the Doda-Udhampur seat, which he represented twice (2004 to 2014), would be filed on March 26,” the spokesperson said. On registration of DSS as a political party with the election commission of India (ECI), KirtiBushan said: “Three steps out of four have been completed and only the issuance of election symbol is pending”.
“We are in touch with the concerned authorities and our choice of symbol may be allotted before filing of the nomination papers by Lal Singh,” he said.
Earlier, Singh said he launched the ‘DograSwabhimanSangathan’ as a non-political organisation but later decided to contest the upcoming state and parliamentary elections from all seats in the Jammu province.
The source said the DograSwabhimanSangathan is likely to be renamed as DograSwabhiman Party, whose symbol may be a lion and a sheep drinking water from the same pond, “portraying a symbol of harmony and brotherhood in Jammu”.