BJP Repeating Jitendra Singh, Jugal Kishore From 2 Jammu Seats

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SRINAGAR: Though it is yet to be official, the BJP has decided to repeat its incumbent MPs, Jugal Kishore and Dr Jitendra Singh from Jammu and Udhampur seats, media reports said.

It is understood to have cleared three nominations for three Kashmir seats – Sofi Yousuf from south Kashmir Anantnag; Khalid Jehangir from Central Kashmir Srinagar and Maqbool War from north Kashmir Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

BJPs Central Election Committee (CEC), however, has not cleared any nomination from Ladakh where two party activists are in the penal – Jamyang Tsering Namgayal and Chering Dorjay. The CEC has asked the state party unit to visit the region and evolve a consensus, a report in Jammu newspaper Excelsior said. BJP had won the Ladakh seat with a slender margin of 34 votes in 2014 but the elected MP resigned from the party and the Lok Sabha in 2018.

The names of all the six candidates will be officially announced once the Ladakh nomination is finalised. BJPs CEC is heading by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. Those in the meeting that cleared the five names include Ram Madhav, Avinash Rai Khanna, State president Ravinder Raina, Ashok Koul, State general secretary (organizations) and Kavinder Gupta. “The BJP CEC can effect last minute changes in the list,” the report said.

Altaf Thakur (centre) celebrating BJP’s victory in 2014 Assembly polls.

The party had seriously considered the name of Choudhary Lal Singh as one candidate from Udhampur seat but it was dropped. Singh, has been unhappy with the party leaders and is reportedly contesting both the Jammu seats, a report in Greater Kashmir said.

Lal Singh has been working for his Dogra Swabhimaan Sangathan  (DSS) for almost two years now. The newspaper quoted the DSS spokesman that Singh will be contesting both the seats personally. Sigh has represented Jammu Lok Sabha seat twice till 2014. The DSS is being renamed as Dogra Swabhimaan Party and the outfit is trying to have an election symbol, the report said.

Singh’s decision to field himself is expected to be a major embarrassment for the party. There are efforts at reconciliation with him, reports added.

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