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Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat again witnessing fierce battle between Rajputs
4/5/2024 11:46:15 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Apr 5: As only two weeks are left for polling on the prestigious Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat, this parliamentary constituency is again witnessing fierce battle between two Rajputs.
Although Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) candidate G M Saroori is also in the fray, the real fight is between sitting Lok Sabha member and Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and Congress candidate Choudhary Lal Singh.
The prestigious Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat is witnessing a fierce electoral battle among candidates belonging to the ‘warrior clan’.
Main political players have chosen candidates from the Rajput community to turn this constituency as ‘battlefield’ for their nominees. BJP has repeated Union Minister, Dr. Singh on this constituency while as Congress, this time fielded two-time Lok Sabha member of this seat, Choudhary Lal Singh.
Jatindra Singh in 2014 Lok Sabha election had defeated the then Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad and in 2019, Singh defeated the scion of the erstwhile Dogra dynasty Vikramaditya Singh.
While as National Conference had announced to support Congress candidate on this constituency, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has not announced its decision.
According to a rough estimate Rajputs comprise nearly 27 per
The prestigious Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat is witnessing a fierce electoral battle among candidates belonging to the ‘warrior clan’.
Main political players have chosen candidates from the Rajput community to turn this constituency into a ‘battlefield’ for their nominees.
According to a rough estimate Rajputs comprise nearly 27 percent of over 16 lakh voters of this constituency.
This constituency was earlier represented thrice by veteran leader Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh --- the last ruler of the Dogra dynasty.
ent of over 16 lakh voters of this prestigious Lok Sabha constituency which was earlier represented thrice by veteran leader Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh --- the last ruler of the Dogra dynasty.
Former Union Minister and BJP leader late Prof Chaman Lal Gupta had also won elections on this seat for three successive terms. The seat is witnessing this ‘unusual’ contest where members of one community would not only have to garner votes from their clan but have to woo other castes. Although caste never played a role in this vast Lok Sabha segment yet political groups are following each other in wooing Rajput votes.
Before 1996, the premier seat remained a citadel of the Congress Party.
Spread from Lakahnpur to Paddar and Bani to Gool, the segment has a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. Among the Hindus, Rajputs are the dominant vote bank. After the eruption of terrorism, BJP effectively played the Hindu card and managed to woo community towards the party. It was impact of the militancy that despite being an outsider, BJP’s Chaman Lal Gupta had won the seat for three successive terms.
It was in 2004 the then Congress candidate Lal Singh had defeated BJP’s stalwart Gupta from this seat. In 2009, Lal Singh had retained this seat as a Congress candidate.
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