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High voltage campaigning in Jammu LS constituency ahead of voting on April 26

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Shillong, April 23: 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. (IANS)

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