BJP and Cong have equal chances to win Udhampur LS seat

Constituency profile: Udhapmur LS seat

A total of 12 candidates, including BJP’s Jitendra Singh and Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh, will battle for Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir which goes to polls on April 18.
Jitendra, a minister in outgoing Narendra Modi government, had defeated Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2014 elections. This time he will have a direct contest with Vikramaditya, the grandson of Hari Singh, erstwhile Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jitendra is banking on his development report card and seeking votes in the name of bringing back Modi to power in New Delhi, while Vikramaditya’s candidature is supported by the regional National Conference (NC). Another regional party PDP led by Mehbooba Mufti has provided tactical support to Vikramaditya by not fielded any candidate against him “to ensure that the secular vote bank does not get divided”, thereby, giving benefit to him.
On the other hand, Harsh Dev Singh of J&K National Panthers Party and Lal Singh of recently floated ‘Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan’ who are also contesting from Udhampur, would play spoilsport and dent the Hindu vote bank in Kathua and Udhampur districts. Jitendra, Vikramaditya, Lal Singh and Harsh Dev Singh all are Rajputs.
Political observers say it would be difficult to predict the winner as it was a close contest between Congress and BJP. “If NC and PDP vote gets transferred to the Congress, Vikramaditya’s chances of winning increase. Last time Jitendra Singh won on the back of Modi wave, besides the division of Muslim votes between Congress and PDP,” they said.
The Udhampur LS seat is spread over 17 Assembly segments in six districts - Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua. There are 16,85,779 registered voters in the constituency, including 8,76,319 men, 7,89,105 women, 20,312 service voters and 43 transgender electors. 
Before starting campaigning, Jitendra said, “I am seeking votes on my development report card of five years, which is in itself is a history of sorts, when it comes to development in this constituency. There is a long list of major infrastructure projects undertaken and completed in the last five years.”
“Voting in my favour is voting for the return of Narendra Modi," the doctor-turned-politician added. 
Vikramaditya says his focus shall be on changing the development profile of the constituency with prolific outreach.
The Udhampur seat had been the Congress bastion since 1967 barring 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2009 when BJP's Chaman Lal Gupta won followed by Jitendra Singh in 2014.

Jammu Lok Sabha Constituency
2014 winner: Jitendra Singh (BJP)
Votes:  4,87,369
Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress)
Votes: 4,26,393
Margin: 60,976 votes 
2019 candidates:
Jitendra Singh: BJP
Vikramaditya Singh: Congress
Electorate 2019: 16,85,779


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BJP and Cong have equal chances to win Udhampur LS seat


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