Residents of the villages on the international border, who had recently experienced heavy shelling from Pakistan and are living in constant fear, are feeling hopeful that their meeting with Narendra Modi at his 'Lalkar Rally' here on December 1 to apprise him of their problems would yield results.
Most villagers near the border are hopeful that as the prime minister, Modi would "take care" of the neighbouring country.
"Since he is being projected as the prime ministerial candidate and all things are going in his favour, we are pinning our hopes on him. We hope that as the prime minister, he will give a befitting reply to Pakistan's misadventures on the border and secure peace here," said Shakunlta Devi, 72, a housewife. She also helps her sons in their fields at Pargwal village, which was hit hard during shelling by Pakistan recently.
"Since his emergence on the national political scenario as the strongest candidate, Modi is being watched by the whole nation, and we also have great expectations that he will bring about changes, given the opportunity," said Ram Prasad, a farmer from Ghagwal village.
While some of the sarpanches and panches of different political affiliations expressed divergent views on Modi's capability as PM to set things right on the border, they did not deny his ability to handle the issue outright.
"Let him come first, then only we can see what changes he brings," said Captain Jasbir Singh, sarpanch of Kolpur at RS Pura, adding that it was too early to comment on Modi's competence in terms of handling the situation.
Some of the village heads said they would lead a deputation to meet Modi on the day of the rally and discuss their problems with him, and expressed hope that he would give them some positive feedback.
"We will try to make the sarpanches reach a consensus and meet Narendra Modi on December 1 and list our grievances. Since this would be our first interaction with him, his response would give us an idea whether he is a 'man of his word' or a 'man of words'," said Prempal Singh, sarpanch of Nagwal.