Lok Sabha elections: Campaigning intensifies in Jammu

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Amit Shah, Sachin Pilot to electrify political mood with scheduled visit on April 16; Rajnath to hold rally in Lal Singh’s hometown Basholi tomorrow; Udhampur set for April 19 voting

JAMMU: Hectic campaigning for the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections has intensified with leaders of political parties seeking support for their candidates.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah is slated to address a colossal rally at the Manhas Biradari Ground near Paloura, in Jammu while the Congress Party’s star campaigner and former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot will address a rally in Kathua on April 16 for their respective party candidates.

In the first phase, the Udhampur constituency will go to polls on April 19 while in the second phase, polling will be held for the Jammu Lok Sabha seat on April 26.

As per reports, the rally aims to invigorate the BJP campaign momentum, particularly in support of the party candidates Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma for Udhampur and Jammu Parliamentary constituencies.

BJP’s UT chief Ravinder Raina affirmed that the rally, expected to draw a mammoth crowd, would serve as a significant boost for the party ahead of the looming polls.

Notably, the timing of the rally, a day before the conclusion of the first phase of the political campaign, underscores its strategic importance. Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency heads to the polls in this initial phase on April 19.

Originally slated for April 09, Shah’s rally was postponed, but its rescheduling underscores the party’s commitment to amplifying its electoral outreach in the region.

In parallel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is poised to address a mega rally at Basohli in Kathua district on April 15, throwing his weight behind BJP candidate Dr Jitendra Singh for the Udhampur-Doda-Kathua Lok Sabha seat.  Basholi is a stronghold of Congress candidate Choudhary Lal Singh, who remained MLA from this assembly segment three times in the past.

Previously, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had electrified the campaign trail with their respective rallies in Udhampur and Kathua districts.

Meanwhile, Congress party’s star campaigner and former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot will address a rally in Kathua on April 16 for party candidate Choudhary Lal Singh at Ramleela Ground Kathua. Earlier Congress’s star campaigner Raj Babbar addressed a massive rally in Udhampur for Lal Singh and assured that Congress will abolish the Agniveer scheme and restore regular recruitments if it comes to power.

Meanwhile, election officials said that over 16.23 lakh voters will decide the fate of 12 candidates in Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in the first phase of general elections to be held on April 19. The Udhampur parliamentary constituency is spread over five districts including Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur and Kathua.

According to the figures provided by the office of the Returning Officer-4 Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency, there are 16,23,195 registered voters in the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat including 8,45,283 male, 7,77,899 female and 13 transgender electors.

“The Election Commission of India (ECI) has set up 2637 polling stations across the constituency, of which 2,457 are situated in rural areas and 180 in urban areas, ensuring accessibility and convenience for voters from all corners of the constituency, ” he added.

Of notable mention is the inclusion of 23,637 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) within the electoral roll, encompassing 14,362 males and 9,275 females.

RO-Udhampur LS segment said, “The young voters, aged 18-19 years, stand at 45,825 male voters, 38,641 female voters and 2 transgender, totalling 84,468 potential first-time voters.”

“The constituency boasts a considerable elderly population, with 12,020 male voters and 13,612 female voters aged 80 and above, totalling 25,632 seasoned voters contributing to the electoral discourse,” he added.