J&K Witnesses Record 893 Incident-free Election Rallies

15 April 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: Amid apprehensions of terrorists targetting polls, Jammu and Kashmir has hosted record 893 rallies free of violence till the end of campaigning for the first phase of the elections, with the Congress accounting for most of them. Earlier, the state had hit record with just over 600 violence-free rallies in the entire Parliament elections in 2004. Of the current 893 rallies, the Jammu division alone accounted for 683 of them while Kashmir witnessed 210 rallies, a spokesman with the state's Department of Information said, adding that as many as 658 of them are large and medium-sized. The Jammu division, which has two Lok Sabha seats, is going to polls from April 16 while those in Kashmir, comprising four constituencies, will start from April 31. The Congress is leading the pack with maximum rallies of 298, followed by the NC (165), the PDP (164), the BJP (158), the NPP (53) and the BSP (29), among others, he said. Moreover, the election rallies in the Jammu Lok Sabha seat has attracted several top national and state-level leaders of various political parties, the spokesman added. The leaders included AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP President Rajnath Singh and General Secretary Arun Jaitley, BSP chief Mayawati, Chief minister Omar Abdullah along with Fomer Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, among others. Moreover, in the Jammu division where 683 rallies have been organised, the Congress alone has organised 298. However, in Kashmir, the NC has organised a maximum of 87 out of a total of 210 rallies while the Congress held only 15.