Development, a key issue for political parties in Kashmir polls

December 15th, 2008 - 6:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhaderwah (J-K), Dec 15 (ANI): Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are focussing on development issues to woo voters as the seven-phased elections are nearing completion in the state.
Addressing an election rally in the Bhaderwah constituency, People’’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that the people of the state should vote keeping in my mind which political party can address issues related to development and unemployment.
“Only that party should come to power that not only talks of development, but also gets you your electricity and employment with other amenities,” said Mufti.
Poll watchers say this marks a remarkable shift in the PDP’’s poll strategy, which had been accused in the past of creating “communal, regional and ethnic divide” in Jammu and Kashmir by the Congress party led by former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The sixth and seventh phases of the polls in the state will be held on December 17 and 24 respectively.
Approximately 57 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the fifth phase on Saturday. Polling took place in eleven constituencies in the districts of Kathua, Shopian and Pulwama.
An estimated 55 per cent of the 14 lakh electorate exercised their franchise in the fourth phase of polling on December 7.
Despite the separatists call for the election boycott, the first phase of the elections recorded 64 per cent participation. At least 65 per cent voting was recorded during the second phase of polling. In the first four phases, the number of candidates showed a marked increase this time as compared to last time. In the Kashmir division the number has gone up to more than double. The results will be declared on December 28. (ANI)

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