Phase-wise campaign becomes choice of political parties in J

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Jammu, Nov 4 (UNI) With election fever gripping Jammu and Kashmir, political parties have begun with a new method of phase-wise campaigning to utilise efficiently the long-poll schedule for canvassing and ensure larger participation of people.

Instead of going for big rallies at the state capitals or other towns, political parties are going for mobilisation at grass root level.

Consequently, the parties are putting in all resources to keep the momentum of the campaign on edge throughout the month-long election process.

While Jammu city seems little vibrant, the political fever has increased to a greater extent in the bordering Poonch district.

Three constituencies of Poonch are scheduled for Phase-I election on November 17.

Sources in Poonch revealed that the campaigns had started in full swung with candidates holding public meeting at almost all the places in the district to woo electorate.

The adjoining Rajouri district, which is going for polls in the Phase-II, is gradually picking up the momentum. While party candidates are continuously meeting with the electorates, the senior leaders will visit their constituencies near the poll dates only.

Fearing low turnout in the election, contesting candidates are preferring door-to-door canvassing over public rallies. ''Leaders getting in direct communication with voters can certainly add to the poll turnout in the given circumstances when election boycott calls are also being given by some outfits,'' said a senior government official requesting anonymity.

Riding on the ''favouring public sentiments'' in Jammu after the Amarnath land controversy, BJP is flexing muscles to change the political history of Jammu and Kashmir targeting ''negotiable number of seats in the foreseeable coalition''.

''The time between the phases will give us an edge for reaching out to the people who have been dejected by Congress, PDP and NC regimes,'' BJP national executive member and former state party president Dr Nirmal Singh said while talking to UNI.

Party's top national leaders will also be free from Assembly polls in other states by the time majority of constituencies in Jammu region, where BJP believes its stronghold, go for election, Dr Singh elaborated to make his point.

National Conference provincial president Ajay Sadhotra said the political parties had to stay alert for meeting all types of situations. ''But the long phased elections, has certainly provided an opportunity to set priority for campaigning,'' he said.

UNI VJ SW DS1205

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