SRINAGAR: The campaigning for 5th and last phase of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections ended on Thursday with Congress workers allegedly attacking the convoy of cricketer-turned-politician and BJP MP Navjot Sidhu in Jammu.
20 seats spread over three districts of Jammu province – Rajouri, Kathua and Jammu – will go to polls in the final phase of elections on December 20.
Over 10.10 lakh electorates including 523945 males and 487012 females and two trans-genders are eligible to exercise their right o franchise in 1224 polling stations set up in 20 Assembly seats. Of the 20 seats, 11 are in Jammu, 5 in Kathua and 4 in Rajouri district.
The elections for 67 of 87-member J&K Assembly have been held in four phases so far.
The voters in 5 phase will seal the fate of five sitting ministers including Deputy Chief Minister, four from Congress and one from National Conference, several former ministers, some ex-MPs and bigwigs of BJP, Congress, NC, PDP and other parties.
Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand (Congress) is seeking 4th term from Chhamb constituency while three other Congress ministers -- Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Sharma, Housing Minister Raman Bhalla and Cooperatives Minister Dr Manohar Lal Sharma are seeking third terms from Akhnoor, Gandhi Nagar and Billawar segments respectively.
Of the 20 seats going to polls, BJP represented 11 in the outgoing Assembly, Congress five, NC 2 and PDP and independent one each.
In all the 20 seats, the fight is between BJP versus others. The saffron party is riding on Modi wave and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers and top party leaders including Bollywood start have campaigned in favour of the party candidates in the Jammu province. All the election rallies addressed by PM and other party leaders witnessed heavy attendance of people.
Senior Congress leader and former union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad lead party’s election campaign in the region. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders also addressed the election rallies for party candidates in Jammu province.
The star campaigners for NC and PDP were Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed respectively.
The election campaign for the 20 seats ended this evening with an ugly incident.
The cavalcade of BJP MP Navjot Sidhu was attacked with stones during his campaign for party candidate in Gandhi Nagar Assembly seat in Jammu.
Police sources said about 40 Sikhs staged protest and pelted stones on Sidhu’s convoy at Bhor Camp area of Chatha in Satwari, Jammu when he was campaigning for the party candidate, Kavinder Gupta contesting from Gandhi Nagar Assembly seat.
The protestors were annoyed over Sidhu for his alleged recent remarks on their religious book.
Police sources said driver of the vehicle and three cops sustained injuries in the stone pelting.
After the stone pelting incident, Sidhu cancelled his poll rally.
The State BJP blamed Congress workers for the attack. “They were supporters of local Congress MLA, who are frustrated over the support party candidate is receiving in the constituency”.