Non-locals in J&K Allowed to Vote, Parties Oppose the Move

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Mehbooba Mufti, former chief Minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeks all-party meet to oppose right to vote for non-locals in J&K

Team Clarion

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir is likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, after the special summary revision of electoral rolls being held for the first time after the Centre scrapped its special status with the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, according to Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar, as reported in the media.

Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have sharply criticised the move, calling it a “dangerous attempt” to influence elections.

Former chief minister of Kashmir and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday sought an all-party meeting to oppose and fight the decision to allow voting rights to non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference here, Mufti said that she has already spoken to Dr.Farooq Abdullah, head of People’s alliance for Gupkar declaration (PAGD) and president of National Conference (NC) to convene an all-party meeting to decide on the future course of action to oppose and fight the decision announced by the election commission on Wednesday that anybody living ordinarily in J&K can vote here, reports IANS.

“It is time when we should focus on the Kashmir resolution more than elections as it has gone beyond elections now,” she said.

“Our youth are being radicalised. Our brothers from the Kashmir Pandit community are being killed, police and security forces personnel are being killed, everybody is suffering,” Mufti said.

She alleged that after the 2024 elections, the BJP will remove the country’s constitution and also replace the national flag.

“All decisions being taken are in favour of the BJP and not the nation. BJP is not going to change the country into a Hindu Rashtra, but in a BJP Rashtra,” she alleged.

She said voting rights for the non-locals is aimed at conducting fraud elections to allow the BJP to rule here.

“They have understood that after three years of rule in J&K, they couldn’t break the resistance of the silent people.The situation is not different for Muslims only, but for every community including Dogras and Pandits.

“Despite beating the drum for Kashmiri Pandits, the BJP failed to ensure their right to vote and the result is that Kashmiri Pandits have now stopped voting.

“Despite spending a hefty amount for deradicalisation, the decisions being taken will certainly radicalise the youth. The government cannot change the ground reality, but it needs to resolve the issue once for all.It is not about legality, but about the intentions behind allowing voting rights to non-locals,” she said.

National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said the decision was driven by the BJP’s “insecurity” about support in the region.

“Is the BJP so insecure about support from genuine voters of J&K that it needs to import temporary voters to win seats? None of these things will help the BJP when the people of J&K are given a chance to exercise their franchise,” tweeted the former Chief Minister.

Cover photo: Mehbooba Mufti at Press conference in Srinagar. — IANS

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