With heightened security, Jammu-Reasi LS seat set to go for polls on Friday

Jammu: Extensive security arrangements have been made for Friday’s polling in the Jammu-Reasi Lok Sabha constituency as authorities imposed prohibitory orders and suspension of virtual Private Network (VPN) in the two districts of Jammu and Rajouri.

A total of 22 candidates are in the race in this constituency although the main contest is between Jugal Kishore Sharma of the BJP and Raman Bhalla of the Congress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have campaigned for Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is seeking re-election from this constituency for the third time.

Senior Congress leaders, including Alka Sharma, Raj Babbar and Sachin Pilot, campaigned for Raman Bhalla.

Jugal Kishore Sharma won from this constituency in 2014 and 2019. Raman Bhalla of Congress is a former J&K minister. He is supported by the National Conference which has not fielded any candidate from this seat. He was also the Congress candidate from this constituency in 2019. The constituency recorded a 74 per cent voter turnout in 2019.

The constituency includes two districts of Jammu and Reasi and one voting segment of Sunderbani-Kalakote of Rajouri district. The predominant population of the constituency comprises Hindus with minorities like Sikhs, Muslims and some Christian voters.

The constituency has been a traditional stronghold of the Jana Sangh and later its successor, the BJP.

There are 17,80,738 voters in the constituency including 9,21,053 male, 8,59,657 female and 28 third gender voters.

ECI has set up 2,416 polling stations in the constituency including 666 urban and 1750 rural polling stations.

Among the 2,416 polling stations, 18 are Green Polling Stations, 46 Pink Polling Stations and 18 PwD manned polling stations.

Of these polling stations, around 1,454 in Jammu district will have CCTV cameras for live webcasting. ECI has ensured that the cameras are positioned in such a way that they don’t violate the secrecy of the vote.

Around 124 polling stations will have two cameras, for inner and outer surveillance. At least 2,000 vehicles of poll parties and sector officers will be equipped with GPS systems to locate the vehicles and monitor their movement.

ECI officials said that 13 polling stations falling in communication shadow areas will have satellite phones, wireless and human assistance as runners to ensure surveillance.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in all the voting segments of the constituency and the polling stations are being sanitized security-wise ahead of Friday’s voting.

A large number of contingents of police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed to ensure that the voters come out in large numbers to exercise their democratic rights without fear in a safe and secure environment.

Special security arrangements have been made to prevent disruption in the polling process in areas close to the border in the constituency.

IANS

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