Jammu, Apr 11: The polling for the Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary Seat in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls started in four districts amid tight security arrangements. The polling started at 7 am in all the four districts ; Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu and Samba segments falling in the bordering belts. Rajouri and Poonch are close to the Line of Control and the rest two are near to the International Border. Over 20 lakh voters will exercise their right to franchise in which total 24 candidates are in fray. BJP has repeated Jugal Kishore Sharma who in 2014 defeated Congress candidate Madal Lal Sharma.
However, this time Congress has fielded the former minister Raman Bhalla for the seat. National Conference has joined hands with the Congress on Jammu-Poonch and Doda-Udhampur Parliamentary Seat and has not fielded it's candidate. Another candidate in this Constituency is Choudhary Lal Singh, the BJP rebel and the former minister. He is contesting polls on both the seats. Refugee leader Rajiv Chunni is also in the fray. Meanwhile, security personnel are deployed in all the polling stations and special deployment is made in the sensitive, hypersensitive and vulnerable polling booths across the region.
Polling stations for women have also been set up at many centres having women polling staff and the security personnel. The Government has declared the polling day as a public holiday to boost the percentage of polling. The polling has started at low pace but will rise with the day and it will conclude at 6pm. (UNI)