BJP MLA eyes panchayat polls with his newly formed ‘apolitical’ group

Pallavi Sareen. Dated: 10/12/2018 1:06:04 PM

Jammu, October 11: Ex-Forest Minister and BJP MLA from Basohli Choudhary Lal Singh’s Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan which chose not to contest municipal elections since they were on party basis is all set to contest Panchayat elections which are on non-party basis.
The political status of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan has remained under cloud as Choudhary Lal Singh is seen running with the hare and hunting with the hound.
With promises to “fight for the honour of Dogras and to get justice for Jammu region” and fighting against the ‘alleged discrimination’ faced by the Dogra community in Jammu region, the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan found in the municipal elections a golden opportunity. Since the elections are conducted for grassroot-level development, it was a chance for the organisation to shed its ‘apolitical’ status openly and jump into the fray.
85 candidates had contested elections in Kathua district, some of whom claimed to be part of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan but members of the Sangathan have clearly said that none of their candidates had contested in the municipal elections, nor had they supported the BJP candidates who were contesting the elections.
Choudhary Lal Singh who had joined BJP in 2014 after leaving Congress does not enjoy the approval of many state BJP leaders. Party insiders say he has never been accepted as a "BJP leader", but an outsider. With Choudhary Lal Singh resigning from the office during the Rasana case and then floating his own ‘apolitical’ outfit, Jammu and Kashmir BJP is wary of his moves. It is not known where the BJP central party command stands on his legitimacy as BJP man. Some reports earlier had pointed out to the possible patronage he was getting from the Centre over his Rasana case politics.
As such, Choudhary Lal Singh remains a BJP MLA enjoying the perks of being in power while the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan plans on fielding its candidates in the Panchayat elections which are to be conducted on non-party basis. Thus, the true nature of the political status of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan remains under wraps.
“Since our organization is purely non-political up until now, so the core committee decided that unless and until we decide about its status, whether we have to go political or not, until we decide on that particular issue, we will not field our candidates,” said Hari Dutt Shishu, founder member, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan.
He further said, “Now we have decided that since the coming Panchayat elections are purely on a non-political basis, we will field our candidates in almost every Panchayat.”
He also said, “Up until now, our entire structure was in infancy. We had not decided upon the hierarchy or allocated positions to different persons but yesterday we had a detailed discussion about this and in a couple of days, we will allocate office to different persons, the details of which would be made public.”
“Lal Singh ji is still our Member Legisative Assembly. We got some media reports yesterday that he had fielded some candidates in Lakhanpur, so the core committee will sit after taking all details and we will take his statement and then decide what is to be done about it. But until now these are all media speculations,” said Brig. Anil Gupta, BJP spokesman.
“Neither has Choudhary Lal Singh left BJP nor has BJP removed him. So, all his moves are questionable and full of doubts. He does exploit the sentiments of people of Jammu but has not left the party which does not respect the sentiments. Both of them have to clarify, what is their position. Why is he still a part of BJP and why have they not expelled him so far?” said Ravinder Sharma, Congress Chief Spokesman.



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