Jammu, Apr 9 (PTI): Electoral battle lines are drawn for tomorrow’s polling to Jammu Lok Sabha seat where Congress nominee and two-time Member Parliament Madan Lal Sharma is looking for a hat-trick while opposition BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma is trying to woo electorate on Narendra Modi plank.
State’s main opposition PDP has also fielded Yashpal Sharma for the seat for which a total of 13 candidates are contesting.
“Over 1,800,500 voters will exercise their right to franchise to decide the fate of 13 candidates in the fray”, Returning Officer of Jammu seat Ajeet Sahu said here.
BJP’s Sharma claimed “it is vote for Modi. People here will root less for me than for Modi so that the latter becomes Prime Minister by voting in my favour. I hope for a big victory.”
BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate had raised the contentious issue of a debate on Article 370 under which the state’s accession with the Union of India has been agreed upon.
However, Modi’s utterances found virtually no takers and led state BJP, which is already battling feud among its leadership, to further trouble especially when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah threw an open challenge to Modi for a discussion on the Article 370.
The PDP candidate has also added to the problems of BJP as Yashpal Sharma may end up cutting into the vote share of Jugal Kishore Sharma.
Madan Lal Sharma, who had won from Jammu in 2004 and 2009, is trying woo voters on development plank of Jammu city and other parts of the constituency comprising 20 assembly seats.
He denies there was any Modi wave and said “there is no?such wave. It is a hype created by BJP. They will face the same fate as they?got for India Shinning campaign”.
The Congress candidate is, however, facing a tough time from the people who have been raising the issue of failure to grant Development Council for Jammu, one-time rehabilitation package to three lakh refugees and citizenship?rights to West Pakistan refugees in Jammu plains.
Modi, who was in the state last month again, had raised the issue of granting citizenship to refugees from West Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
More than 18 lakh voters will cast their ballots at 2,210 polling stations tomorrow. Jammu district has the highest number of 9.89 lakh voters followed by Rajouri (3.67 lakh), Poonch (2.55 lakh) and Samba district (1.87 lakh).
Since 1967, Jammu Parliamentary seat has been traditionally with Congress barring in 1977 when Independent candidate Baldev Singh had won and in 1998 when BJP’s Vaid Vishnu Dutt bagged the seat.