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PDP’s roadshow kicks off Lok Sabha campaign in J&K

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) launched its election campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir with a vibrant road show stretching from Tahab Crossing, Circular Road Pulwama to Sangam, Anantnag on Tuesday.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and party’s youth president Waheed-ur-Rehman Para led the rally, which drew hundreds of enthusiastic participants, predominantly comprised of youth and PDP supporters.

Addressing the media during the event, Mehbooba Mufti extended condolences to the families affected by the recent Batwara Srinagar boat capsizing incident.

She emphasized the historical support from Pulwama, asserting its significance as the starting point of their campaign. Criticizing the current administration, she lamented the alleged transformation of the union territory into an “open jail” under the BJP-led LG regime.

Mufti condemned the shooting of a tourist guide in Shopian, labelling it unfortunate. However, she contested the mass arrests of youth under Public Safety Act (PSA) charges, suggesting it was disproportionate to the incident.

The PDP’s election strategy was outlined, with Mufti contesting from the remodelled Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, Para entering the fray from Srinagar-Pulwama, and Fayaz Ahmad Mir standing as the candidate from the north Kashmir constituency.

The PDP’s decision to contest independently follows a public fallout with the National Conference despite their previous alliance in the INDIA coalition.

The upcoming polls, commencing on April 19, will witness prominent contenders including former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and veteran National Conference leader Mian Altaf.

Jammu and Kashmir’s electoral landscape has undergone significant changes with the state’s transition to a Union territory. The redrawing of constituencies, including Anantnag, aims at achieving parity in representation between Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

Mehbooba Mufti’s stronghold in south Kashmir is pivotal for the PDP’s electoral prospects, having secured parliamentary victories in 2004 and 2014. South Kashmir’s allegiance to the PDP played a crucial role in the party’s ascent to power in the 2014 assembly elections.

The Anantnag constituency, emerging from the delimitation exercise, will go to polls on May 7, reflecting the evolving political dynamics in the region.

Political observers anticipate a fiercely contested electoral battle, with each party vying to consolidate its traditional support bases amidst shifting demographics and geopolitical changes. (KNT)

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