Narendra Modi is slated to start his election campaign at Jammu and Kashmir with a rally at Hiranagar. However, before that he decided to seek blessings of the almighty by paying his respects at the well known cave shrine at Vaishno Devi. He was accompanied during the visit by a BJP leader based in the national capital as well as a family member. He first arrived at the Udhampur military air base in a private plane, following which a helicopter took him to the Sanjhichat helipad. The helipad is located at a distance of at least 2 km from Trikuta Hills where Vaishno Devi is situated.
Baldev Raj Sharma, the Reasi MLA for BJP, received the prime ministerial candidate for the party, at Trikuta Hills. As per Dr. Shahid Iqbal, Reasi’s Deputy Commissioner clear skies have ensured that there were no glitches in the Gujarat CM’s visit. After the visit gets over he will go back to Udhampur – from there he will reach Hiranagar in another helicopter. Hiranagar is located in the Kathua district, which is a part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Doda. Here Modi would be speaking to a rally. The last time he had addressed a rally in the state is when the Lalkar Rally took place at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on December 1, 2013.
BJP is fielding Dr. Jitendra Singh from the Udhampur-Doda constituency and he is going up against Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the Union Health Minister and thus one of the most prominent leaders in the Congress ranks. This only serves to raise the importance of the visit by Narendra Modi considering the fact that the fight, in many ways, is not between two evenly matched contestants.
The Hiranagar region, which is located fairly close to the international border, has also been in news of late owing to attacks by extremist elements from Pakistan. The first attack by a group known as Fidayen took place at a local police station and then there was yet another attack on a military camp located at Samba, which is located on the National Highway. In all 9 people were killed in the attacks, which took place on September 6, 2013. The list of deceased included an army colonel as well.
One feels that Modi will be touching on this issue when he delivers his speech at Hiranagar. Given his ample understanding of public psyche he will address the issue of border security and try and allay the fears of the local people by how he and his party will address these issues once voted to power. For Modi, as well as BJP in general, a lot will depend on how many people attend this rally and how well Narendra Modi is able to articulate and express his views and drive them home as far as the voters are concerned.
The party is already beset with some issues before the polls especially with the allotment of tickets for specific constituencies and one could be sure of the fact that Modi will try his level best to woo the voters here. Success in Jammu and Kashmir will go a long way in ensuring that BJP is able to win in the upcoming assembly polls.