Friday 2 December 2022
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IndiaElectionsJammu and Kashmir gets 25 lakh new voters including non-Kashmiris

Jammu and Kashmir gets 25 lakh new voters including non-Kashmiris

In a gradual meeting of the objective behind virtually repealing and Article 35A, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar 17 August announced that any Indian citizen “staying ordinarily” in before the assembly election is held in the state-turned-union territory for employment, education or business purposes could register as a and cast his/her ballot in the upcoming polls.

The announcement comes amid the ongoing special summary revision of electoral rolls being held in the union territory for the first time since the abrogation of that stripped the erstwhile state of its special status in 2019 and bifurcated it into two union territories.

About 25 lakh new voters are likely to be added as a result, the CEO said, adding that completing the ongoing within the November 25 deadline is a “challenging task”.

All the eligible voters including those who have attained the of 18 years on 1 October this year or earlier can enrol as a voter. The ID will be linked to Aadhar and new cards will be issued with added security features. Furnishing of Aadhaar numbers, however, will be purely voluntary.

“Objective of the programme is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in Electoral Roll,” the official said.

The decision to allow non-local voters has disturbed opposition parties in the union territory that hold it will benefit the BJP. Omar Abdullah, vice president of the National Conference and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, wondered whether the BJP was so insecure that it needed to “import temporary voters” to win seats.

“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 their franchise,” Abdullah tweeted.

Omar Abdullah's successor Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party also echoed Abdullah’s views against the decision. “GOIs decision to defer polls in J&K preceded by egregious gerrymandering tilting the balance in BJPs favour and now allowing non-locals to vote is obviously to influence election results. Real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” Mufti tweeted.

What neither the NC nor the PDP is saying is the truth that, with the immigration of workers from all over the country, the monopoly and hegemony over the region will end.

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