Raman Bhalla with Priyanka Gandhi
Raman Bhalla with Priyanka Gandhi

JAMMU — Amid the support of thousands of Congress workers, Congress candidate Raman Bhalla, filed his nomination for Jammu-Reasi Lok Sabha seat.

Accompanied by scores of jubilant supporters, Bhalla reached the office of Returning Officer, Sachin Kumar Vaishya and filed his papers in presence of National Conference patron and member of INDI Bloc, Dr Farooq Abdullah, All India Congress Committee In-charge J&K Affairs Bharat Singh Solanki, J&K Congress President Vikar Rasool Wani along with several senior leaders of JKPCC.

As per the news agency KNO, Congress supporters started assembling near Maharaja Hari Singh Park in the morning and then took the shape of a procession towards Shaheedi Chowk to the DC office.

Later, on the way back, while addressing a large gathering at Shaheedi Chowk, Solanki appealed to the people to vote for change and uproot the dictatorial regime of BJP.

He said the people’s participation in large numbers shows the mood of the people and claimed that both Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Udhampur will be pocketed by the Congress party with a thumping majority.

“The people have made up their mind to bring about change at the Centre and the Modi government will go after the elections and the INDIA block will form the government,” he added.

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Congress candidate Raman Bhalla thanked the people for the huge participation in the rally today from all parts and appealed to throw the ‘arrogant’ regime out of power for the large interest of the poor and common man.

“People of Jammu have suffered a lot and will teach BJP MP and its leaders a lesson through ballot, in this election. He said that Congress would come back to solve the problems of the common man who is under huge economic distress and facing a lot of hardships due to ‘tax terrorism’ and price rise, record unemployment and lopsided development” he said.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jugal Kishore Sharma filed his nomination papers. Sharma is seeking re-election from this constituency for the third consecutive term. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from this constituency in 2014 and 2019. The constituency goes to vote on April 26 in the second phase.

Jugal is in the fray to reclaim this seat, straight for the third time. In 2019, he had defeated the Congress candidate Raman Bhalla with a margin of 3,02,875 votes as NC and PDP had not fielded their candidates. In 2014, Jugal had won this seat again, defeating Congress candidate Madan Lal Sharma, with a victory margin of 2.57 lakh votes.

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Congress has also repeated its nominee i.e., former minister Raman Bhalla, who is a common candidate of I.N.D.I. Alliance of which both the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are constituents. He will file his nomination paper on April 2.

Following delimitation, the Jammu parliamentary constituency comprises 18 assembly constituencies which include 11 from Jammu; three each from Samba and Reasi district and one from Rajouri’s Kalakote assembly constituency. The total electors are 17.66 lakh.

As per the notification, nomination papers can be filed by candidates or their proposers no later than April 4, 2024. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place on April 6, 2024 at 11 am at Deputy Commissioner’s Office Jammu.

The candidates have the option to withdraw their candidature on April 8, 2024 until 3 pm. The polling on April 26 will be conducted from 7 am to 6 pm.

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