Jammu-Poonch LS seat- BJP-Jugal Kishore Sharma-Congress MP Madan Lal, PDP-Yashpal Sharma

In a triangular contest on Jammu-Poonch LS seat, sitting Cong MP is fighting a tough battle against the two formidable challengers

The stage is finally set for the first phase of 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir on April 10 with the culmination of campaigning on the JammuPoonch Lok Sabha seat Tuesday evening.

The next 48 hours would now be utilised by the main contenders  to reach out to the voters and garner maximum support in their favour.

The election commission of India has also made elaborate arrangements to ensure event free and peaceful conduct of the polls across 2271 polling stations across four districts of Jammu, Samba, Poonch and Rajouri.

A total number of 17.63 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise on Thursday.

Keeping in view the sensitive nature of terrain and its proximity with the line of control and International border the election commission has  categoried at least 100 polling stations as hyper -sensitive and 600 others as Sensitive polling stations.

The highest number of 164 polling stations ,approximately 43 percent, in Poonch have been categorised as hyper-sensitive and sensitive polling stations while 34 percent polling stations in Rajouri were categorised as hyper-sensitive  and sensitive.

Elaborate ‘security bandobast’ is already in place and the polling stations have been handed over to the security personnel to make necessary arrangements.

On the political front the sitting Congress MP Madan Lal Sharma is fighting a tough battle against the two formidable challengers belonging to BJP and PDP. The state BJP Chief Jugal Kishore Sharma and PDP’s Yashpaul Sharma, hailing from Poonch have managed to make inroads in the strong holds of alliance partners and likely to play spoil sport.

The BJP candidate is expected to gain from the popularity of BJP’s  PM candidate Narendra Modi while PDP candidate Yashpal Sharma is banking on his charisma in Poonch district and likely to garner majority votes in Rajouri district as PDP has increased its vote share in the region in the recent years.

In plain areas of Jammu higher percentage of polling on April 10 may trigger a wave against the sitting MP,struggling to withstand the anti-incumbency wave against the Congress led UPA govt.

Disgruntled refugees and discord between the Pahari speaking and Gujjar population in Rajori and Poonch districts may adversely affect the Congress candidate reducing his chances of romping home victoriously.

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