Campaigning in Baramulla seat ends

Campaigning in Baramulla seat ends
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SRINAGAR: Campaigning for the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir came to an end Tuesday as over 13 lakh voters will seal the fate of nine candidates in the first phase of polls on April 11.
The electioneering process was peaceful with no untoward incident reported in the constituency, an election department official said.
The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, spread over 15 assembly segments in three districts of north Kashmir, will head for voting on Thursday along with 90 other constituencies across the country in the first phase of polling.
The nominees from the seat are: Muhammad Akbar Lone of the National Conference, Farooq Ahmad Mir of the Congress, Raja Aijaz Ali of the People’s Conference, Mohammad Maqbool War of the BJP, Jahangir Khan of the NPP, Abdul Qayoom Wani of the PDP and independent candidates Javid Ahmad Qureshi, Syed Najeeb Shah Naqvi and Abdul Rashid Sheikh.
None of the nine candidates in the fray have earlier been elected either to the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
PPD stalwart Muzaffar Hussain Baig had won the Baramulla seat in 2014 general election but he chose not to seek re-election this time.
Baig had defeated his nearest rival Sharief-ud-Din Shariq of the National Conference by a margin of 29,219 votes.
While the 2014 elections in this north Kashmir constituency was a virtual head on contest between the PDP and the NC, a multi-cornered contest is expected this time around with emergence of People’s Conference as the third regional force in Kashmir.
Former Langate MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls has spiced up the contest as former IAS officer Shah Faesal has extended support to him of his newly formed Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.
Some of the areas in the constituency, particularly falling in Kupwara and Bandipora districts, are still snowbound but poll staff and material has already been dispatched to respective polling stations, the officials said.
They said authorities have established 1,749 polling stations at 1,387 locations for over 13.12 lakh voters to exercise their franchise.
The officials said all arrangements, including the security plan for the polling day, have been finalised for smooth, free, fair and transparent conduct of elections.
PTI