Mehbooba ends campaign with impressive rally

November 21st, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kangan (Jammu and Kashmir), Nov 21 (IANS) People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti signed off her party’s campaign with an impressive procession of around a hundred vehicles carrying supporters as canvassing ended Friday for Jammu and Kashmir’s second phase of polling Sunday. This north Kashmir constituency will see a keen tussle between the powerful regional National Conference (NC) candidate, Mian Altaf Ahmad, and nine other contestants, including PDP’s Bashir Ahmad Mir.

Mehbooba’s Friday campaign in this constituency becomes significant because in Kangan even the strongest NC bashers do not provide half a chance to anybody to defeat the NC candidate.

She travelled from one corner of the constituency to another, right up to the Gund village, 60 km from capital city Srinagar, campaigning for her party.

When reporters asked her why she was visiting the constituency twice in two days as apparently her party had little chance to defeat the powerful NC candidate, she smiled: “I feel there is change round the corner and the young candidate we have put up here needs my support”.

Sitting on rooftops of mini-buses and loaded on trucks, the PDP supporters shouted slogans in favour of the party and in support of their candidate here.

Addressing villagers who came out to see the PDP road show, Mehbooba said: “The biggest achievement of our party is that we removed the atmosphere of fear in which the people lived before we assumed power in 2002.

“We provided an atmosphere in which people of Kashmir could live in peace and with dignity. It is to strengthen that vital confidence of the people that we ask for votes this time”.

Abdul Majid, 62, a traditional NC supporter, said about the PDP road show: “It is brave of her to come and challenge the tiger (NC candidate) in his own den. But, that doesn’t mean the PDP has any chance to defeat the NC here”.

The PDP is reportedly banking on those locals who have to go to the north Kashmir’s Baltal base camp of the Amarnath Yatra, situated in this constituency, to make a living as shopkeepers, vendors, potters or those who ferry people on mules.

“The poor and the downtrodden in this constituency would support us this time as we have always stood for their rights to make an honest living during the Yatra”, said a PDP supporter in Mehbooba’s rally.

Kangan has an electorate of 59,879 voters, who shall be electing their representative during the second of the seven-phase polling for six seats — four in Jammu region and two in Kashmir Valley — Sunday. The state assembly has 87 seats.

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