Kerala CM attacks Congress over candidature of Lal Singh


PTI, Apr 18, 2024, 11:39 AM IST

As the campaign for the general elections in Kerala entered its final lap, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday attacked the Congress for fielding Choudhary Lal Singh, who allegedly supported the accused in a sensational rape case, from the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

The veteran CPI(M) leader alleged that Singh, a former BJP leader, had participated in a rally in support of the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January 2018.

He said it was Congress leader Rahul Gandhi himself who welcomed Singh into the party fold during his Bharat Jodo Yatra.

”This clearly shows that the Congress is not taking a strong stand against the Sangh Parivar,” he told a press conference in this Muslim-dominated district.

The 65-year-old Singh, who hails from Kathua district, had rejoined the Congress at its headquarters in Delhi last month.

He was fielded from the Udhampur Parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh, who won the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat twice on a Congress ticket in 2004 and 2009, switched from the Congress to the BJP in 2014 and was also a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, which collapsed in June 2018 after the national party pulled out of the alliance.

Several months before the fall of the government, Singh resigned from the BJP and floated the DSSP following an uproar over his participation in a rally in support of the accused in the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January 2018. However, he defended his participation in the rally, stating that he was there to ”defuse the situation”.

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