Ruling National Conference (NC) legislator and former minister Ajatshatru Singh, the younger son of veteran Congress leader and MP Dr Karan Singh, is set to join the BJP soon.
Significantly, two months ago, his elder brother Vikramaditya Singh had joined the PDP in Jammu.
Giving details, sources said that talks about Ajatshatru joining the BJP had been going on for the past fortnight. The party high command has now given clearance to the move, which is likely to take place soon.
Ajatshatru, the grandson of the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, had successfully contested the Assembly elections from Nagrota constituency in 1996 and was inducted as tourism minister in the Farooq Abdullah cabinet. However, in subsequent elections held in 2002 and 2008, he could not make it to the Legislative Assembly, and was made a member of the State Legislative Council by the NC.
He is likely to be fielded by the BJP from Nagrota, which will go to polls during the fifth phase on December 20. National Conference’s provincial president Devender Rana is contesting from the constituency.
Ajatshatru’s joining will come as another shot in the arm for the BJP, which has inducted many prominent leaders from other political parties in the last two months. On Friday, the Congress’s ex-Mayor and prominent Jat leader, Choudhary Manmohan Singh, along with his supporters had joined the BJP, while the Jammu State Morcha led by its president professor Virender Gupta had merged with the party.
Others who have joined the BJP include NC’s former minister and ex-MP Choudhary Talib Hussain, prominent Youth Congress leader R S Pathania, former Congress minister and two-time MP from Udhampur constituency Choudhary Lal Singh, and Abdul Ghani Kohli, a former technocrat who unsuccessfully contested the 2008 Assembly polls in Kalakote and later joined the PDP. All of them have now been fielded from different Assembly constituencies across Jammu region by the BJP.