Curtains down on campaigning for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, countdown begins for polling - Hindustan Times
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Curtains down on campaigning for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, countdown begins for polling

By, Srinagar
May 24, 2024 01:37 PM IST

Three former Jammu and Kashmir CMs campaigned in different parts of Anantnag, which will witness voting on May 25 in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election

Campaigning for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, the last from Jammu and Kashmir to go to polls, ended on Thursday evening, with political parties making their last-ditch efforts to woo the voters.

PDP Anantnag Lok Sabha candidate Mehbooba Mufti paying tribute to her father at his grave, in Bijbehara, Anantnag. (PTI)
PDP Anantnag Lok Sabha candidate Mehbooba Mufti paying tribute to her father at his grave, in Bijbehara, Anantnag. (PTI)

Three former chief ministers (CM) campaigned in different parts of the parliamentary constituency, which will witness voting on May 25 in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

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A total of 20 candidates are trying their luck from the seat, which is spread over five districts — three in Kashmir and two in Pir Panjal Jammu. The contest, however, is largely between National Conference’s Mian Altaf, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti and Apni Party’s Zaffar Manhas.

Earlier, the parliamentary constituency was scheduled to go to polls on May 7, but the Election Commission of India (ECI) rescheduled the polling date for May 25 amid concerns of inclement weather.

On the last day of campaigning, leaders from across political parties held shows of strength to reach out to the electorate.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah attended a rally in south Kashmir and sought votes for the NC candidate, telling the gathering that a new Prime Minister will be elected in the country when the results are announced on June 4.

Questioning the delay in polling schedule of Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, the leader said, “It has been a long campaign, and it should not have been so. The postponement of elections on the Anantnag-Rajouri seat wasn’t needed. We now urge voters to turn out in huge numbers and participate in the electoral process.”

Another former CM, Mufti, who is contesting from the seat, and her daughter Iltija also held programmes in different parts of south Kashmir.

Iltija led a roadshow in Zanipora, Shopian, speaking of “wave” in favour of Mehbooba Mufti not only in south Kashmir but also in Poonch-Rajouri areas. She also invoked her grandfather, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, saying he had initiated several developmental projects in Shopian.

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, meanwhile, also carried out a road show in Anantnag town along with party candidate Zaffar Manhas. Bukhari on the occasion promised to make Anantnag a separate constituency if his party gets elected to power.

A third former CM Ghulam Nabi Azad also held a rally to canvass for Democratic Progressive Azad Party candidate Mohammad Saleem Parra at Dooru.

Azad promised justice, an end to people’s miseries and development while urging voters to support the party candidate and reject those “dividing people” on the basis of religion and caste.. “We will end the misery of people and go for several developmental projects across J&K,” he added.

High-level security arrangements have been made across the parliamentary constituency spread over two divisions. Additional troops have been called for extra security in three districts of Kashmir ahead of polling, especially after the two militant attacks in Shopian and Anantnag districts, in which a former BJP sarpanch was killed and two tourists injured.

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