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Amid dull campaigning, Jammu braces for Lok Sabha elections


Jammu, Apr 22: Unlike Udhampur constituency, Jammu Lok Sabha seat is expriencing subdued  enthusiasm as political parties are seen shying away from holding any major rallies and meetings to garner support from the people.

Some political observers believe that people in the capital city of Jammu traditionally do not attend big rallies while  others are of the opinion that political parties and their candidates haven’t been able to make a connection with the voters.

A total of 22 candidates are set to compete for the Jammu Lok Sabha seat, with expectations running high for a keenly contested electoral battle. Despite the absence of prominent national campaigners due to concurrent election commitments elsewhere, grassroots campaigning has taken precedence, with candidates focusing on connecting with constituents at the local level.

The electorate, comprising 1,780,738 voters across 18 assembly constituencies, holds the key to determining the outcome of the polls. Notably, a significant proportion of first-time voters, including those in the 18 to 19 age group, are poised to exercise their franchise for the first time.

With the completion of the commissioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), preparations are in full swing to ensure seamless conduct of polling across 1,488 booths in the Jammu district. Each polling booth will be equipped with multiple EVMs, facilitating the participation of voters from diverse political affiliations

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), candidates are mostly confined to the small corner meetings in the Jammu city and also in Samba and Reasi districts, which are part of this constituency.

Barring a couple of bigger rallies, one held by union Home Minister Amit Shah in Jammu on April 16 and another held by Congress party’s star campaigner Sachin pilot in border belt of Ranbir Singh Pura and Suchetgarh, no major rallies are being held to garner the support.

“It is a dull campaign going on all over the Jammu seat. It hasn’t picked up the way it should have. Earlier, elections used to be a big event and peoples’ participation was giving it a colour but this time it is not seen anywhere,” said Dinesh Manhotra, a Jammu-based senior journalist, who is also General Secretary of Press Club Jammu.

The reason for such a campaign is being attributed to the lack of interest of people in this political process as they are not happy with any political party and their candidates.

Both Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Congress party, who have a direct fight in this seat as well, haven’t been able to make the campaigning a big event like what was happening in Udhampur seat. BJP has repeated the candidature of sitting Member Parliament (MP), Jugal Kishore Sharma whereas Congress party has fielded its best possible candidate Raman Bhalla, who has served a minister in Omar Abdullah led NC-Congress coalition government in the past.

Jammu Lok Sabha constituency consists of Jammu, Samba and Reasi district and one Assembly segment of Rajouri district and has a total of 1780738 electorates including 921053 male, 859657 female and 28 third gender electorates. The Jammu district comprises 18 Assembly segments including Bishnah, Suchetgarh, Ranbir singh Pura (Jammu-south), Bahu, Jammu East, Nagrota, Jammu West, Jammu North, Marh, Akhnoor and Chamb. Samba and Reasi district comprises three Assembly segments each including Ramgarh, Samba and Vijaypur, and Gulabgarh, Reasi and Shri Mata Vasihno Devi, respectively. One Assembly segment of Rajouri district which is part of Jammu LS seat is Kalakote-Sunderbani.


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