JAMMU: Though the comparison may be inappropriate yet the similarities between legendry Pandit Prem Nath Dogra and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh are quite interesting and inspiring.Son of soil Dr Jitendra Singh, doctor turned politician, made a grand entry into the politics and took to the ladder of success in one-go. And then there was no looking back for him.Given his political odyssey of just a decade, starting from his Janambhoomi of Jammu as spokesperson of Sangarash Samiti, spearheading the turbulent Amarnath land row agitation in 2008 up to the ongoing unprecedented development process in the North East Region of the country as Union Minister of State with Independent Charge, Dr Jitendra Singh has made Jammu proud by his contributions and commitment to the cause of nation-building.If Pt Prem Nath Dogra earned the title of Sher-e-Duggar for his selfless service to the nation in general and the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular, Dr Jitendra has emerged in his own right as Pride of Duggarland or Gaurav-e-Duggar.The fulfillment of his political aspiration came when the Bhartiya Janata Party finally cracked the whip and accomplished the process of repealing contentious and temporary Article 370 and Article 35A on August 5, 2019.Dr Jitendra had been strong votary of abrogating these discriminatory legislations from day-one of his political innings in 2012 after taking premature retirement as Professor of Endocrinology in the Government Medical College Jammu. Prior to that, as an ace columnist, Dr Jitendra had been profusely and fearlessly giving vent to his political opinions, which revolved around the core theme of nationalism. He had been constantly writing against the legislations that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status.After joining the BJP in 2012, Dr Jitendra went whole hog in political arena. He made a niche for himself and within few months, he emerged as a front ranking leader in the saffron stronghold of Jammu. The Wikipedia has elaborately dwelt upon his political career, which has, by any standards, bloomed leaps and bounds, taking his stature larger than life size across the nation.In March 2014, the BJP announced that Dr Jitendra Singh would contest the upcoming general election from Udhampur-Kathua-Doda constituency . His primary competitor was none other than the political stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Indian National Congress, who was a former chief minister of the state, as also Union Minister of various key ministries including health during various spells. Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha after defeating Azad by a margin of 60,976 votes. Singh had got 487,369 votes against 426,393 votes obtained by Azad.On 27 May 2014, Singh was appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space. He also became the Union Minister of State (Independent charge) in the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences.In March 2019, the BJP re-nominated Dr Singh as its candidate from the Udhampur-Doda-Kathua constituency for the upcoming general election. His main rival was Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress party and supported by Jammu and Kashmir National Conference . He is also the grandson of Hari Singh, the last monarch of the former princely state. Dr Jitendra Singh fought the election on his development report card. Notable campaigners for him included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the then BJP National President Amit Shah, the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ram Madhav and cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Dr Jitendra Singh was re-elected to the Lok Sabha after defeating Vikramaditya Singh by approximately 350,000 votes. Dr Jitendra had got 7,15,406 votes compared to his rival’s 3,66,123 votes.(To be continued).
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