30-kms away from Jammu city, Marh Tehsil in Phase-III of District Development Council (DDC) on Friday witnessed neck-to-neck fight between two candidates including BJP candidate and Independent candidate claimed to be backed by the BJP's Ex-Minister from the constituency.
There were around 10 candidates in fray for DDC Constituency Marh including BJP candidate Vandana Kumari, Sarpanch Balbir Lal as Independent candidate, Congress Party candidate Rajinder Kumar, National Conference, candidate, Ram Lal, Apni Party's candidate Bodh Raj Roda, Panthers Party candidate Nirmal Kishore, Varinder Pal Lakhotra as Independent and others. "Today, over 70 per cent votes were recorded in 116 polling stations of the Marh DDC Constituency. There are around 57724 voters in Marh," according to Block Development Officer, Marh, Amit Bhagat.
Recently, independent candidate Balbir Lalalongwith his two supporters Shakti Sharma and Harjeet Singh were expelled by the BJP for their anti-party activities because he did not withdraw from his candidature as an independent candidate against the BJP's official candidate. With this, the contest between two candidates i.e. BJP candidate Vandana Kumari and Independent candidate Balbir Lal became interested in Marh. "It is BJP's fort and contest is also between two leaders from the party even as one is expelled," said Ranbhir Singh, one of the voters in ChakYog (Panchayat Flora-Nagbani) Marh told Greater Kashmir.
Singh said that "We have less developmental issues, but fighting in DDC polls at Marh between two candidates is actually between two leaders of the same political party."
To a question, he responded: "developmental works have taken place, but it does not mean that Marh is fully developed." Atleast 319 people had casted their votes at the polling station established at Panchayat Flora-Nagbani till 12 noon, out of total 696, and many were in queues waiting for their turn, majority of them were women.
Similar situation could be seen at two polling stations established at Government High School at Gajanso (Marh) where 343 votes were casted till 12 noon at polling station number 27, out of 655 votes, and at polling station number 28, around 319 votes were polled out of total 719.
Large numbers of people were seen waiting for their turn outside the two polling stations. Farmer by profession, Karan Singh, told Greater Kashmir that less compensation to the farmers whose land has come under the Ring Road project still an issue for them and they wanted from the Government to enhance compensation amount at par with national capital.
"The road connectivity is good in Marh. Developmental works had hardly been an issue here," he said when asked about local developmental issues. He said: "There is a fight between two senior leaders and they have allegedly fielded their candidates. One is stationed here and another came all of a sudden. We are opposed to anything which is imposed."