Updated June 4th, 2024 at 20:38 IST

Jitendra Singh Scores Hattrick From Udhampur Lok Sabha Seat

Jitendra Singh, who previously won the seat in 2014 and 2019, secured 571076 votes, defeating Choudhary Lal Singh by a margin of 1,24,373 votes

Union Minister and BJP leader Jitendra Singh | Image:X
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Jammu: BJP leader and Union minister Jitendra Singh has won the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat for the third time, defeating Congress candidate Choudhary Lal Singh.

After maintaining a narrow lead in the early rounds of counting, Jitendra Singh emerged victorious, equalling the feat of veteran Congress leader Karan Singh, who held the seat in 1971, 1977, and 1980.

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Singh, who previously won the seat in 2014 and 2019, secured 571076 votes, defeating Choudhary Lal Singh by a margin of 1,24,373 votes, the Election Commission of India website, said.

Lal Singh received 4,46,703 votes. Former minister G M Saroori, running on the Democratic Azad Party (DPAP) ticket, came third with 39599 votes. Additionally, 12938 votes were cast under the NOTA category.

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According to the officials, Saroori along with nine other candidates have forfeited their security deposit for failing to secure the minimum one-sixth of the total valid votes polled in the constituency.

Amid the bursting of crackers and showering of flowers, Singh was taken in a victory procession from the counting centre in Kathua town by joyous BJP workers. He straightway went to Mukerjee Chowk and paid homage to Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerji.

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Singh expressed gratitude to the people of the Udhampur-Doda constituency for the victory.

"First of all, I want to thank the people of Udhampur-Doda constituency from the core of my heart. They have given their full support and again gave me this responsibility once again," he said.

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"This seat will add to the tally to make a government led by Prime Minister Modi for the third time," he said.

In 2019, Singh defeated Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh by a margin of 353,272 votes. In 2014, he won aganst former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by 60,976 votes and was subsequently appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.

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Choudhary Lal Singh, who previously won the Udhampur seat on a Congress ticket in 2004 and 2009, posed a formidable challenge. A former MLA and minister in the PDP-Congress and PDP-BJP governments, Lal Singh rejoined Congress in March 2024.

The Udhampur constituency has been alternating between the Congress and the BJP.

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Congress won six consecutive times from 1967, while BJP's Chaman Lal Gupta secured three successive victories before Lal Singh's two-term win in 2004 and 2009.

Jitendra Singh's victories mark a significant achievement, underscoring the BJP's stronghold in the region, BJP's J&K unit president Ravinder Raina said.

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"We won both the seats of Jammu and Udhampur with a large margin as people have reposed full faith in BJP and its candidates under the leadership of Modi ji," he said.  

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Published June 4th, 2024 at 20:38 IST