Final phase J&K polls:Over 18 lakh voters to decide fate of 231 candidates

JAMMU :  The fate of 213 candidates, including eight women, in 20 Assembly constituencies will be decided as  a total of over 18 lakh voters will cast their ballot in the fifth and final phase of Jammu and Kashmir elections tomorrow.    An official said a strong 18,28,904 electorate, comprising 9,59,011 men and 8,69,891 women, are expected to exercise their franchise at 2,366 polling stations set up across the three bordering districts of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri.    However, in Jammu district, 10,10,959 electorate, including 5,23,945 males and 4,87,012 females, will be casting their votes.    The official said that 213 candidates, including 11 in Bani Assembly Constituency, 12 in Basohli, 15 in Kathua, 8 in Billawar and 8 in Hiranagar constituency of Kathua district are in the race.
In Jammu district, Nagrota has 11, Gandhi Nagar (11), Jammu East (9), Jammu West (15), Bishnah (10), R S Pura (SC) (11), Suchetgarh (12), Marh (9), Raipur Domana (SC) (11), Akhnoor (8) and Chhamb (SC) has 10 candidates and in Rajouri district, Nowshera (11), Darhal (11), Rajouri (13) and Kalakote (7) candidates.
The campaigning for the last phase came to an end last evening.
The contesting candidates also include Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Ministers Sham Lal Sharma, Raman Bhalla, Manohar Lal Sharma, Ajay Sadhotra, former MP and Ministers Lal Singh, Talib Hussain (both BJP) and Jitendra Babu Singh and former Deputy Speaker Hyder Malik.
BJP during the election campaigning in the final phase, pushed in all the top guns led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Smiti Irani, Uma Bharati, J P Nadda, Dr Jitendra Singh, and star campaigners Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini, Navjot Singh Sidhu to woo voters.    Mr Modi addressed four rallies in Rajouri, Jammu, Billawar and Kathua Assembly segments and appealed the people to give BJP a majority to ensure development and oust the dynastic rule of NC, PDP and Congress.
Meanwhile, tight security has been put in place for the polling polling in the bordering districts. (AGENCIES)

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