SRINAGAR: Choudhary Lal Singh, who returned to Congress last week, has unleashed scathing criticism against the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), alleging that their decision to field former minister GM Saroori instead of party founder Ghulam Nabi Azad from the Udhampur constituency reflects a strategic move aimed at slicing opposition votes rather than winning the election outright.

The controversial politician, who recently rejoined the Congress, finds himself in a heated electoral battle against Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who seeks re-election from the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat for the third consecutive term.

Scheduled for the first phase of polling on April 19, the Udhampur parliamentary constituency has witnessed a flurry of candidate nominations, with five contenders, including Union Minister Saroori, throwing their hats into the political ring.

In response, Congress nominees Raman Bhalla and Choudhary Lal Singh have launched an aggressive campaign, rallying support through public meetings across their respective constituencies. Both candidates aim to overturn their previous defeats in the 2019 parliamentary elections against BJP opponents.

Bhalla faced defeat against BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma in Jammu, while Lal Singh lost to Jitendra Singh in Udhampur. Both BJP incumbents, Sharma and Jitendra Singh, are contesting again from their respective constituencies.

Lal Singh’s return to the Congress fold adds depth to the party’s electoral lineup, enhancing its competitive edge in the upcoming polls. His previous experience and strategic positioning as a Rajput candidate are perceived as crucial assets against the BJP contenders.

The dynamics of the electoral landscape in Jammu and Kashmir are further complicated by the absence of major regional players like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) on both seats in the Jammu division. This absence is seen as a move to consolidate Muslim votes and prevent their division.

However, smaller parties like DPAP and Apni Party are expected to field candidates, potentially altering the electoral calculus and challenging the Congress’s prospects in the region.

The demographic composition of the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, with significant Muslim populations in districts like Doda, Kishtwar, and Reasi, presents a complex socio-political backdrop against the backdrop of a predominantly Hindu electorate.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here