No cakewalk for BJP in Jammu, Udhampur seats

By Sheikh Qayoom

March 25, 2019

Jammu: With both the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) choosing to stay away from the contest in the Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats, the balance appears to swing in favour of the Congress party in these constituencies.

Sikh community’s decision to support Raman Bhalla, the Congress candidate in Jammu, could cost Jugal Kishore Sharma, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, heavily.

Already, announcements are being made in Gurdwaras of Jammu city and other voting segments of Jammu Lok Sabha seat that the Sikh community has decided to support Raman Bhalla.

The NC decided against fielding any candidate for the two seats after working out a pre-poll alliance with the Congress.

The NC president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, launched the joint poll campaign for Raman Bhalla and the other Congress candidate, Vikramaditya Singh, two days ago from Jammu city.

Surprisingly, the NC’s arch rival, the PDP has also decided against fielding candidates from Jammu and Udhampur to ‘strengthen the secular vote’ in the two constituencies.

While Jugal Kishore Sharma is seeking relection from Jammu, Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State in the PMO, is seeking likewise from Udhampur. What seemed a cakewalk for the BJP in the two seats a few days ago is now turning out to be a closely fought battle.

Raman Bhalla is a farmer minister and has, in the past, represented the Gandhi Nagar seat, which forms a segment of the Jammu Lok Sabha seat, in the state assembly.

The closing of ranks by the ‘secular forces’ and the decision of the Sikh community to support him has posed a serious challenge to the BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma.

And, queering the pitch for Jitendra Singh is the fact that Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha and a former J&K Chief Minister, belongs to Bhaderwah town of Doda district which is a segment of the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat.

Azad has strong influence in the Chenab Valley districts of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Reasi, all segments of the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat.

Jitender Singh had defeated Azad in 2014.

Then, BJP rebel Choudhary Lal Singh has formed the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan and has decided to contest from Udhampur. He has pockets of influence in the Kathua district, again a segment of the Udhampur seat.

Whatever the number of votes polled by Choudhary Lal Singh, if he contests, would be the BJP’s direct loss. Lal Singh was a minister in the PDP-BJP coalition headed by Mehbooba Mufti till he was dropped following his controversial statements about the Kathua rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in 2018.

Thus, even after the NC and the PDP decided to stay away from Udhampur so that the vote bank of the Congress’ Vikramaditya Singh gets consolidated, the going is no longer going to be smooth for Jitender Singh.

Ironically, the dangling of the olive branch to the Congress in the two Lok Sabha seats by both the NC and the PDP is a zigsaw puzzle whose pieces will only fall in place after the polls end.

IANS

Jennifer Aniston wears huge diamond ring, sparks engagement rumours

Los Angeles: Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston has sparked engagement rumours after she was seen wearing a humongous diamond ring on her left hand at the SAG Awards. The actress, who...

MEA responds to Indians caught in conflict in Russia, urges caution

New Delhi: Responding to the reports of Indian nationals forced to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday that it is aware of the...

Owaisi urges PM, EAM to bring back Indians ‘stranded’ in Russia

Hyderabad: AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to take steps to bring back 12 Indians who were reportedly forced...

Jaishankar’s brief interaction with Chinese counterpart in Munich

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had a brief conversation on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The interaction took place...

Attack on Indian students: US says ‘working very hard’ to address the issue

Washington: Asserting that there is no excuse for violence based on race or gender, the White House has said that the US is working very hard to thwart and disrupt...

Proud of diaspora, will deepen India’s bilateral ties with UAE, Qatar: Modi (LD)

New Delhi: Hailing the Indian diaspora ahead of his two-day visit to the UAE and Qatar beginning on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of close, friendly ties and said...

Qatar court releases 8 ex-Indian Navy personnel; 7 back in India: MEA

New Delhi: India on Monday has welcomed the decision of the Qatar court to release the eight former Indian Army personnel, who were previously sentenced to death, said the Ministry...

Padma 2024 Awardee Pandit Laxman Bhatt Tailang passes away before receiving award

Jaipur: Even before he could receive the Padma Shri award announced by the government on the eve of January 26, Dhrupadacharya Pandit Laxman Bhatt Tailang, passed away at 9 am...

US visas to Indians have shot up by 60%: Ambassador Garcetti

New Delhi: The number of US visas issued to Indian students and businessmen has shot up by 60% in recent months compared to the previous year and efforts are on...

Development of North-South corridor linking India, Russia priority for Moscow: Lavrov

United Nations: The development of the North-South Corridor (NSC) -- linking India and Russia -- is a priority for Moscow as the two countries explore alternatives to the Western routes,...

Canada to probe India’s alleged interference in Federal elections

Ottawa: Months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of having a role in killing of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in New Delhi, Ottawa has...

‘Israel-Hamas conflict spillover to region through shipping attacks has impact on India’

United Nations: The spillover of the Israel-Hamas conflict to “the vicinity of India” with attacks on shipping by Houthi rebels has an impact on India’s economic interests, according to Deputy...

Read Previous

Rahul promises Rs 72K minimum income to 25 cr poor

Read Next

Number of Indian workers in Kuwait over 889,000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com