Electioneering for the seven- phase assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir began on Monday with the CPI-M organising the first poll rally in Kulgam district.
The rally, addresed by state CPI-M general secretary MY Tarigami, was the first organised by a mainstream political party in nearly four months after the violent agitation spearheaded by separatists over the Amarnath land transfer row which left over 50 people dead and hundred others injured.
"While elections are no panacea for problems facing the state, it is important to hold polls to address day-to-day problems," Tarigami told the rally.
The few hundred people who had gathered at the venue applauded every time Tarigami mentioned the Kashmir issue and the need for its resolution.
He complimented the contrubution of the people in the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad trade route.
"October 21 is a red letter day for all of us. The day is sure to open new avenues and resources and eventually usher in an era of peace and prosperity for the people across the LoC," Tarigami said.
Cross LoC trade will resume along the route after a gap of 60 years.
While Tarigami was the first to kickstart election campaign in the state after the EC announced the poll dates yesterday, other political parties are still in the stage of formulating strategies for their campaign, sources said.
PDP, which had opposed holding elections in the state at the moment, has not even reacted to the poll schedule.
Separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have described the polls as a futile exercise and have decided to boycott the process.