Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district on Sunday for BJP candidate Jitendra Singh. Singh, Union Minister of State in the PMO, is seeking re-election from Udhampur Lok Sabha seat. Polling in Udhampur parliamentary seat will be held in the second phase i.e. April 18.
"Modiji will address a massive public rally in Kathua stadium Sunday morning," BJP state chief Ravinder Raina said. Raina said that two lakh people from Kathua, Hiranagar, Bani, Billawar, Basohli, Ramnagar are expected to attend it.
This would be prime minister's second visit in Jammu & Kashmir to campaign for party candidates. He had addressed an election rally in Akhnoor on March 28. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah joined the election campaign in the state by addressing two rallies in Udhampur and Sunderbani in Rajouri district on April 3.
BJP’s candidate Singh is in direct contest with Congress' Vikramaditya Singh, the grandson of last ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh and the son of Congress leader Karan Singh, in the seat.
Apart from BJP and Congress, 10 more candidates are in the fray from the Udhampur parliamentary seat, including Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS) founder and former BJP minister Choudhary Lal Singh.
Congress candidate is getting support by the National Conference. The Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP has also not fielded any candidate in the seat.
What worries BJP’s candidate is a possible split of votes after Choudhary Lal Singh, who floated an outfit last year, decided to test political waters in Udhampur.
The parliamentary constituency is spread over 17 Assembly segments in six districts -- Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua.
Jitendra Singh had defeated Congress heavyweight and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad by a margin of over 60,000 votes, largely due to the Modi wave.