The Dogra Swabhiman Rally of May 20, this year, has set in motion events which could culminate with the formation of pro-Jammu and pro-Dogra political party.
The rally, which was organised by former Forest Minister, Choudhary Lal Singh, witnessed a colossal turnout of people from every background, all united against sustained prejudice against Jammu region.
Speculations on formation of such a party are on since Lok Sabha elections are due next year. Separate meetings of Lal Singh and Congress leader Sham Lal Sharma with Vikramaditya Singh, descendant of the Dogra dynasty, are giving ample reason to expect a Dogra front.
While Lal Singh met Vikramaditya Singh on Friday, Sham Lal Sharma met him on Saturday, both discussing the prevailing political situation in the state in general and the Jammu region in particular.
According to the Tribune,
“As the local leadership of the BJP and Congress is facing a credibility crisis, Lal Singh and Sharma during their meeting discussed prospects of forming a regional outfit for Jammu before the Lok Sabha elections…
…after visiting border areas of Samba, Vikramaditya Singh straight went to the house of Lal Singh to compliment him for organising the rally at Hiranagar on May 20”
People have been disappointed with the ruling BJP as according to the masses, their political alliance with the PDP has brought no good to the region. It was with extremely high hopes that people irrespective of boundaries of ethnicity and geography, unanimously voted for BJP but were “let down”.
Although Lal Singh has not quit the BJP, he has already started aggressive campaign to “restore dignity and honour” of the ethnic Dogra minority.
From April 13 this year when he was forced to resign for the Council of Ministers for supporting the demand for a CBI probe into infamous Rasana murder and rape case.
Vikramaditya Singh, who had quit the PDP on October 22, 2017, on the issue of “anti-Jammu policies of PDP-BJP coalition,” is also working assiduously to unite all pro-Jammu forces to address the long-pending demands of the region.
Another pro-Jammu voice and stalwart of the Congress Sham Lal Sharma had resigned from the post of senior vice-president of the Pradesh Congress Committee on May 21, charging the party leadership with ignoring the region.