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Jammu campaigning saw high profile leaders

Campaigning ended on Tuesday for the first phase voting that saw high profile politicians like Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley campaigning for their party candidates in Jammu.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2009 19:59 IST

Campaigning ended on Tuesday for the first phase voting that saw high profile politicians like Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley campaigning for their party candidates in Jammu.

Political parties organised colourful rallies on the last day of electioneering in Jammu-Poonch constituency, which goes to the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday.

The main contest in the constituency, which has 1.7 million voters, is between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while candidates from Peoples Democratic Party and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are also among the 21 candidates in the fray.

On the last of the electioneering, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah appeared together at a rally in Vijaypur, campaigning for Madan Lal Sharma. Sharma, a Congress candidate, is seeking re-election from this constituency.

The almost three-week-long campaigning saw BJP president Rajnath Singh and party general secretary Arun Jaitley attacking the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for allegedly being soft on terrorism.

BSP chief Mayawati said her party if voted to power would offer reservation for the impoverished people in the state.

The National Conference accused the BJP of trying to divide the state on communal basis during the last year's Amarnath land agitation.

But the people, who last year had seen a hectic seven-phase assembly election, showed little enthusiasm in the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections this year.

"We have heard all this before (in November-December elections). There is nothing new in what is being said now," said Suraj Prakash, a businessman in Jammu.