The campaigning for second phase of polls culminated with political parties putting in their best effort for 18 assembly segments in the state, nine in Kashmir's Kupwara and Kulgam districts.
People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed wound up campaigning in Kashmir with high voltage speeches. "This election is not just about development and governance, it is about safeguarding the distinct identity of Jammu and Kashmir and upholding the dignity of its people," Mufti said while addressing a series of election rallies at Chassana, Sangaldan, Qazigund, Uri and Kunzer.
Mufti said the momentum has already been set for the momentous change in the very first phase of polls as the PDP has been able to inspire confidence among the people in all the regions of the state about its ability to solve the multiple problems faced by Jammu and Kashmir on political, economic, administrative and financial fronts. He said with a decisive mandate the PDP will carry forward its agenda of political resolution, good governance and employment generation and convert Jammu and Kashmir into a real welfare state.
Mufti said given the distinct geographical features of different regions of the state, the PDP would ensure area-specific development with focus on tourism, horticulture and handicrafts in the Jhelum Valley region, generation of hydropower in the Chenab Valley region, non-conventional energy in the Indus Valley region, biotechnology in the Pir Panchal region and manufacturing and trade in the Jammu region.
The PDP and the National Conference's (NC) stakes are high with their bastion in north and south Kashmir's Kupwara and Kulgam districts, putting to test their sitting MLAs. The fate of Congress and CPI (M) MLAs are also at stake.
MLA Langate and Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) president Engineer Rashid, while concluding campaigning from his seat, said, "The BJP should bear in mind that Kashmiris have not taken the arms for Article 370 but for the just and honorable resolution of Kashmir dispute and any move aimed at scuttling the special status of Kashmir would be fought with tooth and nail by the party."
NC law minister Mir Saifullah will see a close contest with the PDP and Peoples Conference from Kupwara constituency. Sajad Lone, a new entrant from separatists' politics, will battle against NC's Chowdhary Ramzan, a minister, and PDP's Sofi Mohiuddin. NC's another minister Sakina Yatoo and CPI (M) sitting MLA MY Tarigami's fate too will be sealed in ballot.