The decision to include “non-locals” in electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir is unacceptable and would be contested by all means, including in court, Nation Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Monday after a meeting of nine parties over the issue.
Abdullah, who had called the meeting, said they were united against the move to extend the voting right to “outsiders” as it would rob Jammu and Kashmir of its identity.
”The state’s identity is about to end. The Dogra, Kashmiri Pahari or Gujjar or Sikh, who reside here, will lose their identity. The assembly will be in the hands of the outsiders… We all oppose it and are not ready to accept it,” he told reporters.
The meeting was attended by the NC, Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, Awami National Conference, Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India, CPI-Marxist, Janata Dal-United and the Akali Dal-Mann. However, the Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference and Altaf Bukhar’s Apni Party stayed away.
We all parties are against this new law (voting rights for non-locals in J&K), we oppose it. We are also thinking about going to court on this: National Conference leader and former J&K CM, Farooq Abdullah was quoted as saying by ANI
As per PTI report, Abdullah had convened the meeting after the NC and other parties objected to the remarks of the Union territory’s chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar that there will be around 25 lakh additional voters and anyone who is living ordinarily can avail the opportunity to get enlisted as a voter in J&K under the provisions of The Representation of the People Act.
The government earlier last issued a clarification, saying the reports of a likely addition of over 25 lakh voters after the summary revision of electoral rolls is a “misrepresentation of facts by vested interests” and the increase in numbers will be of voters who have attained the age of 18 years as of October 1, 2022, or earlier.
Dissatisfied with the clarification, the NC and other parties claimed the administration has not addressed their main concern on whether ”outsiders” ordinarily residing in J-K will be allowed to enroll as voters.