Modi, Nadda, Shah among 6 Ministers; Yogi, 2 other CMs to address rallies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda, six Union Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah, three Chief Ministers including Yogi Adityanath and various other senior leaders of the BJP have been listed as star campaigners who will canvass for the party candidates in Jammu and Kashmir during Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in five phases.

The list of star campaigners for Jammu and Kashmir was today submitted by Arun Singh, national general secretary of the BJP, to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K PK Pole.

The submission of list of start campaigners by the parties is mandatory as per provisions of the Representation of People’s Act 1951.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be campaigning in Jammu and Kashmir, the list of star campaigners revealed. However, the Excelsior has already reported that Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold rallies for the BJP candidates in the UT.

Six Union Ministers scheduled to campaign in J&K besides Amit Shah include Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari, Information & Broadcasting and Youth Services & Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Minister for Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani and Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh.

Three Chief Ministers, who will be hitting the campaign trail in Jammu and Kashmir, are Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Bhajan Lal Sharma (Rajasthan) and Pushkar Singh Dhami (Uttarakhand).
Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar have also been listed as the BJP’s start campaigners in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP’s national general secretary, Incharge J&K Tarun Chugh, co-Incharge Ashish Sood, UT chief Ravinder Raina, Dr Narinder Singh, national secretary, Devender Singh Rana, former MLA, MPs Jugal Kishore Sharma and Ghulam Ali Khatana and Sunil Sethi are among a total of 40 star campaigners listed by the BJP for Jammu and Kashmir.

Excelsior had earlier exclusively reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah will campaign for the BJP candidates in Jammu and Kashmir. Venues of their rallies will be finalized shortly by the BJP high command in consultations with UT unit of the party and contestants.

The BJP has so far announced two candidates for Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Reasi Lok Sabha constituencies including Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma. Both are sitting MPs from Udhampur and Jammu segments and are seeking third term from there.

The party is, however, yet to announce the candidates for high stake Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri (APR), Srinagar and Baramulla Parliamentary seats.
Insiders said BJP UT chief Ravinder Raina is the frontrunner from Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri constituency though a panel of three candidates has been framed by the party. Similar panels have also been formed for Srinagar and Baramulla seats.

Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat will go to polls in first phase of elections on April 19 while Jammu-Reasi constituency will have voting in the second phase on April 26. Anantnag segment will witness polling in third phase on May 7, Srinagar in fourth phase on May 13 and Baramulla in fifth phase on May 20.

Insiders said the BJP campaign will pick up from Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency which is going to polls in first phase followed by Jammu-Reasi and Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri which will have polling in second and third phases.

In fact, the BJP’s stakes are higher in these three seats. While the party will be looking to retain Udhampur and Jammu constituencies for third consecutive term having won them in 2014 and 2019, it will try to open its account for the first time by winning Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri seat.
The BJP is confident of wresting Anantnag seat from the National Conference after granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis, who have large chunk of votes in the constituency.

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