Ex-BJP Minister Lal Singh urges locals to join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu

He said ever since J&K was bifurcated in 2019, people of Jammu were exposed to the whims and fancies of the bureaucrats

January 19, 2023 04:38 am | Updated 04:38 am IST - JAMMU

Former BJP MLA and Jammu and Kashmir forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh. File

Former BJP MLA and Jammu and Kashmir forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party supremo Chowdhary Lal Singh on Wednesday appealed to his party members and all like-minded people of Jammu to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is scheduled to enter Jammu and Kashmir at Lakhanpur on Thursday.

Mr. Singh, who held a meeting at his residence, said, “It is the moral and political duty of every Indian to become a part of it. The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a befitting rejoinder to the divisive policies of the ruling party, both at the Centre and in the Union Territory of J&K because the BJP has been surviving on the formula of pitting one community against other and one caste against the other at pan-India level.”

He said ever since J&K was bifurcated in 2019, the people of Jammu were exposed to the whims and fancies of the bureaucrats, “who have been working hand in glove with the big business houses as well as the local politicians in the exploitation and loot of the natural resources of Jammu”. 

Mr. Singh, a former MP and a State Minister, switched from the Congress to the BJP in 2014. He quit the BJP in 2019. On Wednesday, he accused the BJP-led government of diluting almost all the social, legislative and judicial institutions in India and rendering them ineffective.

Mr. Singh had caused an uproar by joining a rally in support of the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January 2018.

On Wednesday, he said there should be a CBI enquiry into the matter. “Our party stands committed to its demand of bringing the culprits of the Rasana (Kathua) case to book and ensuring justice to the family of the little girl. Even the High Court of J&K endorsed the stand of DSSP and cast aspersions on the Special Investigation Team constituted by the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti,” he said. Congress leader Deepika Pushkar quit the party on Tuesday after Mr. Singh announced that he would share the stage with Mr. Gandhi during the yatra.  Meanwhile, former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah advised Congress against providing a platform to Mr. Singh. 

“The Congress must not allow any leader to whitewash themselves using ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The role of the leader in the Rasana (Kathua) rape case incident is known to everyone,” Mr. Abdullah said.

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