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ET report vindicated, Lal Singh rejoins Congress
3/20/2024 10:41:49 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Mar 20: Choudhary Lal Singh rejoining the Congress after a gap of ten years has authenticated Early Times report that the veteran political would be the party’s candidate in the Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha Parliamentary seat.
Early Times in its March 4 edition has reported that Congress is going to field Choudhary Lal Singh on the prestigious Udhampur-Doda segment.
In a significant political development, veteran politician Choudhary Lal Singh, founder of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS), has rejoined the Congress Party in New Delhi. Singh’s return to the party fold comes after days of speculation and discussions with Congress leadership.
Choudhary Lal Singh, a two-time Lok Sabha member and former minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, had previously floated his own political party, the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan, before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Despite his independent political venture, Singh maintained communication with the Congress leadership.
During the Bharat Jodo Yatra in January 2023, Choudhary Lal Singh welcomed Rahul Gandhi at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir.
Although he was not allowed to share the stage with Rahul Gandhi due to opposition by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Singh remained in constant touch with the Congress leadership.
Speculations suggest that Singh is likely to be fielded as the Congress candidate from the prestigious Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Parliamentary seat.
This seat is currently held by Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, who represents the BJP.
The Udhampur-Kathua-Doda constituency is scheduled for polls in the first phase on April 19, 2024.
Congress workers celebrated the merger of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) led by Choudhary Lal Singh with the Congress.
State Congress working president Raman Bhalla expressed optimism about Singh’s return, emphasizing his clean image and secular outlook.
Singh’s voluntary support for Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra was acknowledged.
Choudhary Lal Singh had previously won the Udhampur parliamentary seat twice as a Congress candidate in 2004 and 2009.
In 2014, he switched from Congress to the BJP and served as a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir.
His association with the BJP ended in 2018 after the national party pulled out of the alliance.
Singh later formed the DSSP and continued his political journey.
In 2021, Singh faced a money laundering case related to an educational trust run by his wife.
Despite legal challenges, he remains a prominent figure in Jammu and Kashmir politics.
Choudhary Lal Singh’s return to the Congress fold is seen as a strategic move ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, where he may directly contest against Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh in the Udhampur parliamentary constituency12.
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