For second time, PM to launch election campaign from Jammu

Vaishno Devi visit being planned on Apr 9

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Mar 27: For second consecutive time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the BJP’s poll campaign for Lok Sabha elections from Jammu, the City of Temples, tomorrow by addressing an election rally at Dhoomi in Akhnoor tehsil in favour of party’s candidate for Jammu-Poonch Parliam-entary constituency, Jugal Kishore Sharma, who is seeking second term from here.
Modi will launch the party’s election campaign tomorrow by addressing three rallies including two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Jammu. By the end of poll campaign in the middle of May, he will address a total of 150 election rallies. However, Modi’s two other election rallies will be held prior to Akhnoor rally.
Modi had launched election campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections on March 26 by offering prayers at holy cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and then addressing an election rally in favour of BJP candidate for Udhampur-Doda constituency, Dr Jitendra Singh at Hiranagar. The BJP had won the majority for the first time claiming 282 seats and Dr Singh had defeated former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad in his electoral debut.
Modi will address election rally in Kathua on April 9 in favour of Dr Jitendra Singh.
In 2014, BJP had chosen border town of Hiranagar as venue of election rally for Modi after he had offered prayers to Goddess Vaishno Devi Ji. This time, the BJP has chosen Kathua as the election rally venue for Modi.
BJP State president Ravinder Raina said Akhnoor was selected as venue for the Prime Minister’s rally as it was middle point of Jammu-Poonch constituency. People from Rajouri and parts of Poonch will also join the rally here while those from Samba and other border areas of Jammu will too attend.
Though Modi is not visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine tomorrow, Raina said Akhnoor town falls in the foothills of the holy shrine.
According to BJP insiders, plans are afoot to take some time out of the Prime Minister’s hectic schedule for his Mata Vaishno Devi visit during April 9 rally in Kathua. But no final decision has been taken so far.
During 2014, Modi had addressed only one election rally in Hiranagar while during 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he is scheduled to address two poll rallies, one at Akhnoor tomorrow and another at Kathua on April 9. He is unlikely to campaign in Kashmir and Ladakh regions, as per the schedule of rallies of the Prime Minister finalized by the BJP so far.
Prior to launch of election campaign in 2014, Modi had addressed a massive public meeting at MA Stadium in Jammu on December 1, 2013. In the Assembly elections in J&K, which were followed by Parliamentary polls in 2014, Modi had addressed over half a dozen rallies and the BJP went on to win record number of 25 seats.
The BJP had won three Lok Sabha seats out of a total of six in 2014 Parliamentary polls including Jammu-Poonch, Udhampur-Doda and Ladakh while remaining three seats had gone to the PDP.
Besides Modi, BJP national president, Amit Shah is also scheduled to address two elections rallies in the State-one each in Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Kathua constituencies.
Other Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari and Kiren Rijiju were among the BJP star campaigners for Jammu and Kashmir.