Jammu and Kashmir sees high of 3,500 poll rallies

December 13th, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyJammu, Dec 13 (IANS) Notwithstanding the separatists’ poll boycott call, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed hectic campaigning for the seven-phased assembly elections, with nearly 3,500 election rallies held so far, according to official records.Officials who have compiled records of public meetings, road shows and rallies, say the rallies were held by major political parties like National Conference, Congress, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also by smaller parties and many independent candidates.

“The high number of rallies is significant in the light of the perception that the political parties, leaders and candidates would not be holding such visible events related to elections because of the fear of separatists and militants, who have given a poll boycott call,” a poll official told IANS.

With more than 60 percent voter turnout in the first four phases of the staggered elections and some constituencies like Uri recording as high as 80 percent voting, the politicians were encouraged to go in for more rallies, said Ghulam Hassan Mir, president of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Party (Nationalist).

According to official records, as many as 3,445 public meetings and rallies have been held in Jammu and Kashmir by various political parties and candidates so far.

Of these, 1,848 were held in Kashmir division, while 1,597 in Jammu division.

Among these, 463 were mega rallies, including 20 held in the three districts of Pulwama, Shopian and Kathua on the last day of campaigning Thursday for the fifth phase of polling Saturday.

Of the major parties, the National Conference held 783 rallies, the PDP 716, the Congress 715, the BJP 270, BSP 108, Samajwadi Party 62, JK Democratic Party (N) 59, CPI-M 21, and 241 by independents.

In the Kashmir division, the major rallies were by the PDP (570), National Conference (466) and Congress (284), while independents held 113 rallies.

In Jammu division, the Congress held 431 rallies, the National Conference 317, the BJP 229 and the PDP 146, while independent candidates held 128 rallies.

Of the election rallies held for the fifth phase, 283 were organised in the three districts of Pulwama, Shopian and Kathua, where polls are being held Saturday. These include 53 in Pulwama, 65 in Shopian and 165 in Kathua district.

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