Punjab resident Baldev Kumar has become the first person from outside Jammu and Kashmir to contest Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
Kumar (67), a resident of the Naya Gaon area of Mohali in Punjab, filed his nomination papers from the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary constituency as an Independent candidate on Friday.

He is among 25 candidates who are in the fray from the constituency, which will go to polls on May 7.

Kumar claimed that he decided to contest the polls on the insistence of a “large” number of local people whom he has “served for the last 20 years”.

“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.

The contestant said he has been requesting the administration to build a ‘Kashmir Bhawan’ in Punjab, especially for the patients, but to no avail.

“(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 said.

Asked if he has Jammu and Kashmir’s domicile certificate, he said, “I have no domicile as I have not stayed in one place”.
Kumar is the first non-resident person to contest polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading and bifurcation of the erstwhile state on August 5, 2019.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, NCR resident Shams Khwaja contested, and lost the polls from the erstwhile Anantnag Parliamentary constituency.

He was the first-ever non-resident to contest the polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Objections were raised against his candidature, but those were overruled by election authorities in 2019. (PTI)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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