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High voltage campaigning in Jammu

The Election Commission (EC) has set up 2416 polling stations including 666 urban and 1750 rural polling stations…reports Asian Lite News

Poll campaign reached a high voltage on Tuesday in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency where 17,80,738 electors will decide the fate of 22 candidates on April 26.

Jugal Kishore Sharma of the BJP is seeking re-election from this constituency for the third time and his main opponent is Raman Bhalla of the Congress supported by the NC that hasn’t fielded any candidate to improve the electoral chances of the Congress candidate.

After the abrogation of Article 370 and the new delimitation of constituencies, the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency includes 18 voting segments spread in Jammu, Samba and Reasi districts plus some posts in the Rajouri district.

The Election Commission (EC) has set up 2416 polling stations including 666 urban and 1750 rural polling stations. Special polling stations have been set up exclusively for physically challenged voters.

For the first time, voters above 85 years can cast their votes at home and these will be collected by the poll staff.

Videography, webcasting and other technical features have also been installed to supervise a fair poll across the constituency.

BJP top leadership including Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have campaigned for the BJP candidate while senior Congress leaders and NC’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have addressed election meetings in support of the Congress candidate.

Candidates are now going door to door to seek the support of the voters. This Lok Sabha election is significant because it is the first time that the voters would be exercising franchise after the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of J&K into a union territory.

The focus of all the poll campaigns by various political parties in the constituency has been development, healthcare, road and rail connectivity, employment, education and tourism.

No contesting candidate has tried to stoke discord among the voters by raising religious or ethnic and regional issues. BJP has accused the Congress of bad governance and lack of control over violence during its governments in the state while the Congress has blamed the BJP for denying J&K an elected government.

J&K Police Chief, R.R.Swain has been visiting the various districts in this constituency to address the minutest details of security and to provide a fearless and fair environment for the voters to come and exercise their franchise in large numbers.

Security forces have been put on maximum alert and a substantial deployment of paramilitary forces consisting of 40,000 personnel has been made in Jammu, Samba, Reasi, and Rajouri districts.

As many voting segments are close to the international border in this constituency, BSF guarding the international border and the army guarding the line of control (LoC) have heightened vigil in these sectors.

A large number of first-time voters will also exercise their democratic rights during the voting in this constituency.

BJP names Gyalson as Ladakh candidate

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday announced Tashi Gyalson, a former party general secretary of the Ladakh unit, as its candidate from the Ladakh constituency replacing its current MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal from the Lok Sabha seat.

Tashi Gyalson is a councillor from the Lingshed constituency and in 2020 was elected as chairman and chief executive councillor of the 6th Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, (LAHDC), Leh.

He joined the BJP after the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir collapsed. He was then a member of the PDP.

Speaking to ANI on his candidature Tashi Gyalson said, “I thank PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party national president JP Nadda, and party leaders, and workers for showing confidence in me.”

“I do not think it is that challenging in Ladakh because a lot of work has been done in Ladakh. I have confidence that people will trust PM Modi and BJP will win,” he said.

Ladakh will go to polls on May 20.

In 2014, BJP won the lone Lok Sabha seat from Ladakh with the slimmest of margins that year (36 votes), and in 2019 it was feted for fulfilling a long-pending promise of abrogation of Article 370.

The party’s candidate Jamyang Namgyal won the seat in 2019 with a margin of 10,000 votes.

Meanwhile, activist Sonam Wangchuk is protesting for statehood and the 6th Schedule for the Ladakh Union Territory.

The people of Ladakh are demanding statehood, inclusion under the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution, and other rights.

The key demands include- statehood and inclusion under the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which grants special rights to tribal communities, and stronger ecological protections for Ladakh.

The people also demanded an end to the clampdown on peaceful protests, the lifting of the internet ban, and the revocation of Section 144 CRPC, which prohibits the assembly of more than four people in certain areas.

Earlier, on April 5, Section 144 was imposed in Ladakh’s Leh following the ongoing protest. (ANI)

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