Updated February 21st, 2024 at 17:15 IST

BJP J&K Unit Open To Welcome Former Rebels Ahead of Lok Sabha Poll

BJP J&K Chief Ravinder Raina expressed openness towards the idea of the return of former rebels and said that all are welcome in the party.

Reported by: Gursimran Singh
Edited by: Shweta Singh
BJP Open Doors For ‘Old Rebels’ Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls in Jammu and Kashmir | Image:Ravinder Raina/ X Twitter
Advertisement

Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir Unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has extended an olive branch to former rebels, welcoming them back into the party fold ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls. Responding to inquiries about the potential return of former MP and J&K Minister Choudhary Lal Singh to the saffron party, BJP J&K Chief Ravinder Raina expressed openness towards the idea.

Raina told Republic Media, "It is good, all are welcome in the party. We all must work for 1.4 crore people of Jammu and Kashmir unitedly. Our doors are open for all. All of them are our friends. And we have no ill will against anyone." However, Raina refrained from commenting on whether the party would readmit individuals who had been previously expelled for supporting the accused in the infamous Rassana rape case.

Advertisement

Choudhary Lal Singh, who first won a seat in 1986 on a Congress ticket and later served as Health Minister in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, has a complex political history. He subsequently won the Lok Sabha seat of Udhampur-Kathua in 2004 and 2009 under the Congress banner but parted ways with the party in 2014 after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket in favour of Ghulam Nabi Azad. He then joined the BJP in 2014, won the Basholi Assembly Sabha seat, and was appointed to a ministerial position. However, Lal Singh was removed from his ministerial post in 2018 following his participation in a gathering in support of the accused in the Rassana Rape case.

In November 2023, the Enforcement Directorate took action in connection with a money laundering investigation against Choudhary Lal Singh, his wife, and an educational trust affiliated with her. The agency attached land valued at ₹1.21 crore as part of the probe. Lal Singh was subsequently arrested by the ED on November 7 in Jammu, following a charge sheet filed against his wife, Kanta Andotra, and a former government 'patwari' named Ravinder Singh.

Advertisement

According to the ED's FIR, Choudhary Lal Singh, in collaboration with revenue officers, exploited his official position to forcibly transfer 167 kanals and 15 marlas of land, valued at ₹1.21 crore, into the name of RBET (an educational trust). This action constituted proceeds of crime as per the circle rate in 2011.

 

 

Advertisement

Published February 21st, 2024 at 17:15 IST