Over to voters in Jammu as campaigning concludes - Hindustan Times
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Over to voters in Jammu as campaigning concludes

Apr 25, 2024 01:07 PM IST

A total of 2,416 polling stations set up in Jammu for 17.8 lakh voters; direct fight between sitting BJP MP Jugal Kishore and Congress’ Raman Bhalla

Campaigning for the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency came to a close on Wednesday evening after weeks of high-profile visits to the region.

Congress candidate Raman Bhalla during a road show for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu. (PTI)
Congress candidate Raman Bhalla during a road show for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit the campaign trail for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), visiting Udhampur’s Battal Balian on April 12, which was followed up by home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu’s Paloura on April 16.

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However, it was Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, who was the first high profile BP leader to campaign woo voters for the seat, viewed predominantly as a Hindu heart-land. He invoked Ram Temple, revocation of Article 370, overall development, welfare schemes for poor strata and a “scared” and “beleaguered” Pakistan to woo the voters in Kathua on April 10.

Names like Raj Babbar, Sachin Pilot, Alka Lamba and national spokesperson Imran Pratap Garhi held the fort for the Congress. The leaders attacked the BJP over issues of unemployment, inflation, lack of civic amenities, high taxes and recruitment scams that frustrated the youth.

The National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), being members of the Congress-led INDIA bloc, have not fielded their candidates from Jammu.

With the jigsaw puzzle quite clear on the ground, a straight contest is being anticipated between BJP’s incumbent MP, Jugal Kishore and Congress candidate Raman Bhalla.

The constituency goes to polls on April 26. It is spread over 18 assembly segments in four districts including Reasi, Samba, Jammu and Rajouri.

According to the figures provided by the office of returning officer, there are 17,80,835 registered voters under the Jammu constituency — including 9,21,095 men, 8,59,712 women and 28 transgender voters. Among these 37,822 (37,025 male and 797 female) are service voters.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has set up 2,416 polling stations across the constituency including 18 green polling stations, 46 pink polling stations and 18 manned by persons with disability.

Reasi district with three assembly constituencies — Gulabgarh (ST), Reasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi — has 23,52,62 voters. The ECI has set up 425 polling stations across the district.

Samba district, comprising Ramgrah (SC), Samba and Vijaypur assembly constituencies, has 2,59,198 voters and 365 polling stations .

A total of 11,89,389 voters, meanwhile, will exercise their right to franchise at 1,488 polling stations across the district.

Rajouri district, with only Kalakote-Sunderbani assembly constituency, has 96,986 voters and 138 polling stations.

The RS Pura-Jammu South assembly constituency has the highest number of 1,24,744 voters. Similarly, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi has the lowest number of 55,737 voters and 91 stations.

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Nodal officer Shishir Gupta informed that 1.1 crore was intercepted and seized by the administration in the lead-up to polls. “Similarly, 800 litre liquor, 940 gm poppy straw and four daggers were seized. A total of 11 model code of conduct violations were reported and the notices were issued,” he added. Gupta also informed that 150 polling stations have been set up along the Indo-Pak border to facilitate optimum participation of voters.

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