PM to begin election campaign from Jammu

JAMMU, Feb 15: Prime Minister NarendraModi is set to inaugurate his election campaign for the upcoming LokSabha polls, scheduled for April-May this year, with a public rally at Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on February 20.

The venue for the rally however, is put under siege and tight security arrangements are made around it.

All sports activities are also temporarily suspended in the Stadium.

Sources in the BJP said that the Prime Minister will be addressing a mega public rally on February 20 at Jammu’s M A Stadium having a seating capacity of around 25,000 spectators.

Sources revealed that the Modi will also be inaugurating a series of development projects including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Vijaypur in Samba, the highest Railway Bridge, linking Kashmir with rest of the country this year, in Reasi district, Devika Rejuvenation project at Udhampur, IIM Jammu and ShahpurKandi Redevelopment Plan in Kathua.

“The Prime Minister will be e-inaugurating these projects,” adding party sources said that e-foundation stones of various other development works in Jammu and Kashmir will also be laid by the Prime Minister.

They said that before his scheduled Jammu rally and other programmes, Modi is also expected to meet the party’s J&K cadre at New Delhi on February 17-18 during a two-day Working Group meeting.

” A Two-day national convention is to be convened in Bharat Mandapam on February 17-18, coinciding with the upcoming LokSabha election which will be inaugurated by BJP National President J P Nadda and concludes with Prime Minister NarendraModi’s closing address,” they said.

The sources said that Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir could boost BJP’s prospects in the Union Territory ahead of LokSabha election as the party is eyeing three seats.

BJP for two consecutive terms in 2014 and 2019 won two LokSabha seats from Jammu region.

Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh won the Udhampur-Kathua seat and Jugal Kishore Sharma won Jammu-Poonch seat in the last two LokSabha polls.

“The party this time is eyeing third seat Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri which has a large number of Pahari votes to whom the Government accorded ST status in the just concluded Parliament session,” said a BJP leader.

Meanwhile tight security is in place for the smooth conduct of the Prime Minister’s rally.

All vehicles passing nearby the venue-located in the heart of Jammu city–are being frisked and special check posts are installed along the River Tawi bank-adjacent to the M A Stadium.

“Security forces are on alert and are maintaining vigil around the venue while barricades are also erected and the entrants at the venue are being allowed to move only after complete frisking,” said a senior police official. (Agencies)

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