BJP left red-faced as Lal Singh refuses to withdraw papers

In a major embarrassment to the BJP, its rebel leader Choudhary Lal Singh has refused to withdraw papers from the Jammu-Poonch parliamentary seat.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday announced that the party leadership was talking to Lal Singh to convince him to withdraw his nomination from both seats of the Jammu region.

The last day of withdrawal of nomination papers for the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, which is going to the polls in the first phase of elections on April 11, was Thursday.

Returning Officer for the Jammu-Poonch seat Ramesh Kumar said only one nomination was withdrawn on the last day. The nomination was withdrawn by Lal Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra, who had filed her papers as a covering candidate.

Lal Singh had also filed his nomination papers from the Udhampur-Doda parliamentary seat as a candidate of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan.

Of the 37 candidates who had filed their papers for the Jammu-Poonch seat, the nominations of 25 contestants were found valid and 12 nominations were rejected. With the withdrawal of Kanta Andotra’s papers, a total of 24 candidates are now in the fray for the constituency.

If political pundits are to be believed, Lal Singh’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections from both seats of the Jammu region, which are currently held by the saffron party, will cause a dent to the BJP in the elections.

Lal Singh had joined the BJP in the presence of party national president Amit Shah in August 2014 after he parted ways with the Congress. He was a Cabinet minister in the previous PDP-BJP coalition government headed by former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. He was sacked from the Council of Ministers following his participation in the Hindu Ekta Manch rally allegedly organised in support of those arrested in the infamous Kathua rape-murder case.

Tough fight for saffron party
If political pundits are to be believed, Lal Singh’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections from both seats of the Jammu region, which are currently held by the saffron party, will cause a dent to the BJP in the elections
Returning Officer for the Jammu-Poonch seat Ramesh Kumar said only one nomination was withdrawn on the last day on Thursday. The nomination was withdrawn by Lal Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra