Former Forest, Environment and Ecology Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and currently the Chairman of Dogra Swabhinan Sangathan Party Choudhary Lal Singh had an exclusive interview with JK Media.
Choudhary talked about the politics in J&K UT. Devender Rana’s shifting from NC to BJP said that it ‘dying’ was much better than joining BJP.
Q. Devender Rana joined BJP. What are your thoughts on this?
I think this step is regrettable. I don’t know why people are giving up and playing with politics? Shifting to BJP when it is in power is not something that I appreciate. National Congress does have many negatives since the beginning but leaving it for selfish needs is unacceptable. Serving people and not yourself is a true politician.
Q. You recently talked to Rana Ji before the incident. Did you try to stop him from doing this?
I had a chat with Rana a few days back. I told him that he shouldn’t leave his party at this moment. I agree that NC never thought about Jammu’s development, but Rana needed to take a stand. Instead of that, he switched the party!
On the other side, BJP isn’t doing great for the people. We all can see several people protesting every day. The covid-19 pandemic has stopped some; otherwise, chaos would have been formed. Jammu public had expectations from BJP, but it only got unemployment.
Q. Will Devender Rana be able to raise a voice regarding the Jammu Declaration?
No, not at all! Whoever is saying this is nonsense. Rana left NC only when BJP accepted him. No matter about Declaration. It was to join the ruling party. You see, NC has lost its power. Its leaders are getting attacked. So, considering the situation, he shifted to BJP.
Q. Choudhary Ji, you too shifted from Congress to BJP a few years back. Was it correct then?
I left Congress because they cheated on me. Madan Lal and I were good at our positions until the party made us contest Parliament elections. So many people cried about my condition. I couldn’t see that and left the party.
My joining of BJP was different. I never switched it for my benefit. Seventy thousand people came in support of the union.
Q. Rana and Slathia left the party for people’s benefit. Your take on this?
A few days back, we all heard Devender Rana criticising the Bhartiya Janata Party for no development in Jammu and Kashmir, and now himself joining the party. Now tell me, is it for the people or self benefit? An intelligent person will get the point!
I started the ‘Jai Duggar, Jai Dogra’ slogan to awaken our community, but many other leaders misused it.
Q. Can Devender Singh Rana be the face of the Chief Minister of Jammu?
Is there any face left to destroy Jammu? (Laughs) No one is capable in BJP to contest for the post of Chief Minister, I guess.
Look at Ladakh how they are fighting for their State. We are Dogras, and we need to fight for our rights. Leave people of other communities, work for yours. Look at us; where do we stand? What’s the current position of Schools and Colleges in Jammu? Our children aren’t getting admission when the Right to Education is a fundamental right.
Q. Can Choudhary Lal Singh be the next one to change his political party?
People talking about such things can be declared foolish from my side. It’s better to think constructive rather than switching parties—so many problems in our region. Try to unite and solve them. Don’t be foolish.