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LS seats to watch out for in J-K as it goes to its first major poll since Art 370 move

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir is set to witness its first major electoral battle since it was bifurcated and downgraded to the status of union territory months after the general elections in 2019.

Jammu and Kashmir has a total of five Lok Sabha seats — three of which are currently with the National Conference and two with the BJP.

The Union Territory has been under the central rule since the fall of PDP-BJP government in June 2018. The last assembly polls were held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014.

A significant development since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019
was the delimitation exercise completed in May 2022 as part of J&K Reorganisation Act. It revised the boundaries of 90 assembly and five parliamentary constituencies.

The Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory will be held in the first five of the seven-phased elections : April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla). The results will be announced on June 4.

Following are the key parliamentary seats to watch out for in Jammu and Kashmir:

1. Udhampur: Union minister Jitendra Singh will be looking to make a hat-trick of wins here as the BJP candidate. A physician by profession, Singh retained the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in 2019 defeating Congress’s Vikramaditya Singh, the grandson of erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh, by a huge margin of 3,53,272 votes. In 2014, Singh had defeated former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad by 60,976 votes.

2. Srinagar: The seat is currently held by National Conference president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah since 2017 after winning the bye-election, necessitated by the resignation of PDP MP Tariq Hameed Karra who had wrested the seat from Abdullah in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Abdullah won the seat again in 2019 general elections, defeating his nearest PDP rival Aga Syed Mohsin by a margin of over 70,000 votes. Karra joined the Congress in February 2017.

3. Anantnag-Rajouri: This parliamentary constituency covers Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir and most parts of the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region. It attracts the BJP’s attention as the party looks to improve its LS seat tally from J-K.

The seat, which witnessed major redrawing by the delimitation panel, is presently held by National Conference leader and former judge Hasnain Masoodi who had wrested the seat from PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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