Meet Baldev Kumar, 1st non-native to contest polls in J&K post Article 370 repeal | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Meet Baldev Kumar, 1st non-native to contest polls in J&K post Article 370 repeal

Apr 20, 2024 09:33 AM IST

The Lok Sabha elections in J&K are being scheduled in five phases with voting in each of the five parliamentary constituencies.

Punjab resident Baldev Kumar, who filed his nomination from the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency as an independent candidate, has become the first non-native person to contest the Lok Sabha election in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

People stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station as voting starts in the first phase of India's general election at Udhampur district.(AFP)
People stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station as voting starts in the first phase of India's general election at Udhampur district.(AFP)

Kumar, who hails from Punjab's Mohali, is among the 25 candidates in the fray from the constituency, which will go to polls on May 7. The 67-year-old candidate does not hold Jammu and Kashmir's domicile certificate as he had not stayed in one place in the erstwhile state.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Read here: Lok Sabha polls: Udhampur voters brave bad weather to post 65% turnout on seat

The candidate said that he decided to file after a "large" number of localites insisted that he "served for the last two decades" here, be it during the 2014 floods or sponsoring the education of Kashmiri students, reported news agency PTI.

"I worked for the people during the 2014 floods, I have sponsored the education of a number of students, I have facilitated patients from Kashmir when they go to Punjab for medical check-ups and kept a kothi (house) for them where they can stay when they go there for treatment," Kumar said to PTI.

The independent candidate from the constituency also pressed the demand for building a a 'Kashmir Bhawan' in Punjab, especially for the patients. "Social activist Medha Patkar got 20 acres of land for her NGO from the Gujarat government but I have not been allotted even two acres for a Kashmir Bhawan for the patients from J&K. The people have told me that I have to be in power and only then can I build a Kashmir Bhawan. So, I decided to contest the polls," he added.

Kumar is the first ‘outsider’ to contest polls after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state in 2019. Though he is not the first-ever ‘outsider’ to contest the polls. In the 2019 general elections (before the scrapping of Article 370), NCR resident Shams Khwaja contested the election from the Anantnag constituency but lost.

Objections were raised against Khwaja's candidature but were overruled by the election authorities, thus becoming the first-ever non-resident to contest the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Lok Sabha elections in the Union territory are being scheduled in five phases with voting in each of the five parliamentary constituencies of the union territory to be held in each phase. Approximately 65% of the total 16.23 lakh registered voters cast their ballot by 5 pm on Friday in the first phase of the elections in Udhampur.

(With inputs from PTI)

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections Result, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Lok Sabha Elections Results 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On