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Did You Know: J&K Dy CM Spent 13 Months in Jail During Emergency? 5 Things To Know About Kavinder Gupta

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The political career of the newly appointed Deputy Chief Minister of J&K, Kavinder Bhushan Gupta, was shaped by stalwarts of the country, like former Prime Minister Chander Shekhar, Akali leaders Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Jeevan Singh Umarnangal and BJP leader Babu Hit Abhilashi.

As a student of Class XI, Kavinder had spent 13 months in Patiala jail with these political stalwarts during the Emergency. “I was a student of Class XI, when the Emergency was imposed in 1975. As an RSS worker, I was picked up from Gurdaspur where my father was serving. From Gurdaspur, I was shifted to the Patiala jail where well-known leaders were already lodged,” Kavinder recalled while interacting with The Tribune.

“I am fortunate enough that at the age of 16, I got the opportunity to spend 13 months with renowned leaders. I learnt so much from them,” said Gupta who joined the RSS in his student days.

Although Kavinder joined electoral politics from his native state of J&K, his political career in a real sense started from Punjab where he worked as state secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for three years.

Kavinder’s father was an employee of the Postal and Telegraph Department so the family spent many years in Gurdaspur from where they shifted to Srinagar.

A native of Smailpur village, the birthplace of one of Jana Sangh’s founders Pandit Prem Nath Dogra, Kavinder formally joined the BJP in 1988 when he was appointed as district president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the party. From 1993 to 1998, Kavinder remained the BJYM state president.

In two successive Assembly elections of 2002 and 2008, Kavinder was given BJP ticket, but at the eleventh hour the party changed candidates.

In the 2014 Assembly polls, Kavinder contested from the Gandhi Nagar Assembly segment in Jammu city, which was considered as the citadel of the Congress. He defeated Congress stalwart Raman Bhalla.

Kavinder, who was first mayor of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, remained on the post for three successive terms. He was elected Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on March 18, 2015.

Spent 13 months in Patiala jail

As a student of Class XI, Kavinder had spent 13 months in Patiala jail with political stalwarts, like former Prime Minister Chander Shekhar, Akali leaders Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Jeevan Singh Umarnangal and BJP leader Babu Hit Abhilashi, during the Emergency. “I was a student of Class XI, when the Emergency was imposed in 1975. As an RSS worker, I was picked up from Gurdaspur where my father was serving. From Gurdaspur, I was shifted to Patiala jail where political stalwarts of the country were already lodged,” he said.  

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