Lok Sabha Polls: Lal Singh Quits BJP, Party Says Not Official Yet
Weeks after Choudhary Lal Singh told The Quint in an exclusive interview that he would contest polls against the BJP from his new outfit, the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan, he told the media he has resigned from BJP on 6 February.
This comes months before Jammu and Kashmir state elections and the Lok Sabha polls, both to be held in 2019. The Quint spoke to BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi who said, “We have not got any official declaration or letter from him yet, he has just told media persons.”
Sethi said that even though he has not officially resigned the party can understand that both have parted ways adding that, “Not one other minister or not one BJP worker from the ground has left the party since this is not going to affect the party’s performance in the upcoming polls..
Singh is a relevant figure in the region, known for being a minister who ‘gets work done’ and stood up for the Hindus of Kathua when the police was torturing them in their investigation. The police investigation and charge sheet are both discounted as politically motivated by the Hindus of Jammu, with Mehbooba Mufti trying to further her agenda in the region and arresting the Hindu accused. After his resignation, he has won the goodwill of the people which could harm the BJP vote share.
The last time Lal Singh left a party was in 2014 when he was in the Congress and was asked to vacate the Udhampur MP seat for Ghulam Nabi Azad. He was MP for two consecutive terms between 2004 and 2014. Miffed by this, he did not help Azad campaign and, thereby, was instrumental in Azad’s loss by 60,000 votes against BJP’s Jitendra Singh. Soon after the Lok Sabha polls, he joined the BJP and was made state minister. BJP spokesperson Sunil Sethi however does not give Singh the credit for the BJP candidate winning, “2014 was the year of Modi wave and that is why Jitendra Singh won, not because Singh did not campaign for Azad.”
Singh has held on closely to his demand of a CBI inquiry into the Kathua rape-murder case and says he will continue the demand even after the verdict is announced.
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