Dr Jitendra Singh

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On May 23, when the results started to come in BJP’s candidate for Udhampur constituency Dr Jitendra Singh shocked everyone by defeating his rival Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh by a huge margin of nearly 3.5 lakh votes. This was Dr Singh’s second election after joining politics in 2012. He fought his maiden election in 2014 on BJP’s ticket from Udhampur and defeated Congress’ veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad by a margin of 60 thousand votes. His back-to-backs wins in once Congress stronghold has cemented Dr Singh position in Delhi and BJP’s position in Jammu belt. Dr Singh’s closeness to Modi is seen as a key factor behind his thumping victory in Hindu dominated Udhampur constituency.

A new comer to politics Dr Singh’s youngest brother Devender Singh Rana, a National Conference politician represented Nagrota assembly segment in 2014. This put the two brothers on the opposite sides of the political divide in J&K.

But Dr Singh shot to limelight in 2008 as spokesperson for the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti that spearheaded the 61-day-long stir against the Governor’s decision to revoke the transfer of 90 acres of forest land in Pahalgham to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

After his first win Dr Singh, a diabetologist, was made BJP’s national executive member and was designated as the chief spokesperson for Jammu and Kashmir.

Being a good orator Dr Singh served as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, and Department of Space in Modi’s government since 2014.

Born on November 6, 1956, Dr Singh got his MBBS degree from Stanley Medical College, Chennai and MD (Medicine) from Government Medical College, Jammu. He worked as professor of diabetes and endocrinology at Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu before joining politics in 2012. Dr Singh originally hails from Malhori village in Doda district.

Before joining politics Dr Singh used to write columns and articles for a Jammu based English daily newspaper. He is a strong advocate for abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, two special provisions that guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

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