Political parties trying to woo voters ahead of elections

PM Modi to address public rally on Feb 20 in Jammu

SRINAGAR, FEB 12: In preparation for the Lok Sabha polls, political parties are actively wooing voters in Jammu and Kashmir, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to address a public rally on February 20.

The central leadership of the BJP is actively engaging with local party leaders to assess the party’s chances in the upcoming elections, urging people to join their ranks. On Monday, former NC leader Shehnaz Ganie joined the BJP in New Delhi.

For several days now, BJP’s J&K President Ravinder Raina has been in South Kashmir, encouraging people to support the BJP. In his speeches, he highlights the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government over the last decade.

“We will retain both seats of Jammu. Besides, we expect favourable results from Kashmir in this election because people in Kashmir are happy with the Narendra Modi-led government,” Raina said.

The BJP has launched its Lok Sabha election campaign by inaugurating election offices in all constituencies of J&K. BJP leaders are strategically connecting with various communities, including Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis, SCs, residents along the border and LoC, PoJK displaced individuals, West Pak refugees, and backward classes.

PM Modi’s visit is anticipated to strengthen the BJP’s standing in J&K ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. His day-long visit includes addressing a public rally in Jammu and inaugurating/laying the foundation stone for various developmental projects, such as the AIIMS in Vijaypur and the highest Railway bridge connecting Kashmir to the rest of the country this year.

The political landscape in Jammu and Kashmir is gearing up for the polls scheduled for April-May, with the region having five parliamentary constituencies—three in the Kashmir valley and two in Jammu. Currently, the National Conference holds three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, while the BJP has two members from Jammu.

NC leaders are also holding meetings with workers, considering fielding Farooq Abdullah from Central Kashmir and Omar Abdullah from North Kashmir. However, the final announcement is yet to be made. In South Kashmir, the PDP is likely to field its president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The Congress, mainly focusing on Jammu, aims to have a significant contest with the BJP. Ghulam Nabi Azad, who left the Congress and formed a new political party (Democratic Progressive Azad Party), has been actively preparing for the polls, camping in Jammu or Srinagar.

Similarly, the Apni Party-led by Altaf Bukhari and the Peoples Conference have been organizing rallies in different parts of J&K.

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