Polling Begins For Jammu LS Seat Amid Tight Security - JK REVOLUTION
Monday, June 24, 2024

Polling Begins For Jammu LS Seat Amid Tight Security

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SRINAGAR: Amid tight security arrangements, voting began in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu constituency on Friday, with more than 17.81 lakh voters eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 22 candidates.

The Jammu Lok Sabha seat is one of the 89 constituencies in 13 states and Union territories across the country where polling is being held.

The polling began at 7 am at all 2,416 polling stations across the constituency and it is going on smoothly, officials said.

Incumbent MP Jugal Kishore Sharma of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is eyeing a third straight term in the Lower House of Parliament after he won the seat in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

This is the first major poll battle in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into Union territories on August 5, 2019.

Voters were seen headed towards polling stations early in the morning, the officials said, adding that long queues of voters were seen at various polling stations in Jammu city.

More than 15,000 polling staff, including reserves, have been deployed while security arrangements are foolproof to ensure free-and-fair polls.

“Security and other related arrangements are in place to ensure free, fair and peaceful voting. A contingency plan has also been worked out to ensure no disruption in polling along the borders,” Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pandurang K Pole said.

He expressed hope that the polling would remain peaceful. This is the second Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir to go to polls. Earlier, polling was held in the Udhampur seat on April 19, recording a voter turnout of more than 68 per cent.

A total of 17,80,835 voters, including 9,21,095 men, 8,59,712 women and 28 third-gender voters, are enrolled in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency. The officials said there are 10,498 differently-abled voters and 666 voters above the age of 100 years.

A total of 2,416 polling stations, including 158 along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC), have been set up across the four districts of Jammu, Samba, Reasi and Rajouri (the Kalakote-Sunderbani Assembly segment), they added.

“More than 15,000 polling staff, including reserves, will be deployed on the polling day. Among the districts, Jammu has 50 critical booths while Samba has around 12 border polling stations,” an official said.

The officials said 10 polling booths will be managed by women, 10 by specially-abled persons and nine by youngsters. In addition to the 11 Assembly constituencies of Jammu district, the Jammu Lok Sabha seat includes the Kalakote-Sunderbani constituency of Rajouri, the Gulabgarh, Reasi and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi segments of Reasi district and the Ramgarh, Samba and Vijaypur segments of Samba district.

Jammu recorded a voter turnout of 74 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Twenty-two candidates are in the fray. A direct contest is on the cards between Sharma and INDIA bloc candidate Raman Bhalla, the working president of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress.

Jagdish Raj of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and advocate Ankur Sharma of the Ekam Sanatan Bharat Dal are two other prominent faces contesting the seat. Sharma defeated Bhalla by a margin of more than three lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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