Opposition will Resist Voting Rights to Non-locals in J&K: Farooq Abdullah

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Once the voting rights are given to the non-locals in J&K, everything including the identity of the state would be lost, said National Conference president

SRINAGAR — Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said on Monday that the decision to give voting rights to non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir elections will be resisted by all the opposition political parties.

Addressing the media at the end of Monday’s all-party meeting held at his high security Gupkar road residence in Srinagar, Abdullah said, “They are saying the new voters would be 25 lakhs. It could be 50 lakhs, 60 lakhs or even a crore. There is no clarity on this.

“Once the voting rights are given to the non-locals in J&K, everything including the identity of the state would be lost.

“We have, therefore, decided that the decision to give voting rights to non-locals will be opposed and resisted jointly by all of us.

“The second thing, which is most important, is that many political parties have not been provided security here. How does the government plan to protect the non-local labourers after they become vulnerable? Any decision regarding this should be carefully thought over,” he said.

Those who attended the all-party meeting in addition to Dr. Abdullah and his son, Omar Abdullah include Mehbooba Mufti of PDP, Vikar Rasool Wani, president of J&K Congress committee, Vice President of the party’s J&K unit Raman Bhalla, Yusuf Tarigami of CPI-M, Muzzafar Ahmad Shah of Awami National Conference, Narinder Singh Khalsa of the Akali Dal, and Manish Sahni, president of Shiv Sena’s J&K unit. Sahni belongs to Uddhav Thackeray group of Shiv Sena. — IANS

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Cover photo: Dr Farooq Abdullah addressing press conferences after all-party meeting in Srinagar on Monday. Umar Qadir/IANS

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