More than 860 poll rallies held in Jammu and Kashmir

November 12th, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Nov 12 (IANS) The electioneering in Jammu and Kashmir for the seven-phase assembly polls is picking up gradually with more than 860 public meetings organised by various political parties since the election schedule was announced last month.The first round of the polls to elect the new 87-member assembly will take place Nov 17 in 10 constituencies - four in Ladakh, and three each in Poonch and Bandipora districts.

“Since the announcement of poll schedule Oct 19, a total of 862 political meetings have been organised across the state with 406 of these taking place in the Kashmir division and 456 in Jammu,” an official spokesman said Wednesday.

The National Conference has held close to 200 meetings and the Congress has organised more than 175 such meetings. The Peoples Democratic Party follows with over 165 rallies while the Bharatiya Janata Party has organised more than 60, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said despite a call by separatist leaders asking people to stay away from polls, “there has been an exceptional response to the filing of nominations for the first phase”.

Out of the 102 candidates contesting elections in the 10 constituencies in the first phase Nov 17, Sonawari constituency leads with 22 contestants while as 19 candidates will fight it out in Bandipora constituency.

In the Jammu division, traditional fanfare and enthusiasm is seen both among voters and contestants.

In Ladakh and Kargil districts, all political parties have organised rallies where contestants and political stalwarts have addressed large gatherings, said the spokesman.

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