(PTI) The National Conference will hold an “all-party meeting” here on Monday to debate the question concerning the “inclusion of non-local voters” in the updated electoral rolls for Jammu as well as Kashmir.
Parties such as those of the NC and PDP said that the administration hasn’t addressed their principal concern regarding the issue of whether “outsiders” who are residing in J-K are permitted to register as voters. the meeting will be discussing the clarifications issued by the administration regarding the question.
The meeting will then discuss the issues that are unimportant. The clarifications will also be debated. The meeting is an all-party one and each party will be able to present their own view, PDP chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari has said.
NC the NC president Farooq Abdullah had called the meeting to discuss being the “inclusion of non-local voters” on the electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir after comments about the inclusion of voters on the new rolls made by Chief Electoral Officer of the UT Hirdesh Kumar raised hackles of the regional parties.
The government issued a clarification, stating that the claims of a possible increase of more than 25 lakh voters following the summary revision of the electoral rolls was an “misrepresentation of facts by vested interests”.
Major political parties in the US have asserted of “inclusion of non-locals was a clear-cut ploy to disenfranchise the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
However, even with the clarification that the parties have agreed to, they will continue with the all-party conference that was held by the NC president at his home.
The clarification provided from DIPR is a non-verbal endorsement of the declaration made by the chief election officer. This doesn’t address the concerns we have concerning non-locals as a whole having the right to vote. Another scheme to eliminate residents from J&K, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter on Sunday.
The National Conference also said the clarification is not addressing the issue of whether “outsiders” residing on J-K are able to vote or not.
There’s no consensus about the most important aspect regarding voting rights to non-residents living in J-K. National Conference (NC) state spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said to PTI.
Dar said that the government must clarify what is meant by living people.
The issue is that someone has arrived in the country and is employed as a laborer. There isn’t any documentary evidence as is the case elsewhere where a person lives in the area for 7 or 8 years before he is able to vote.
A person who has been here for two months can visit to stay for two months register himself in his home state and apply to vote in this state after which he can return. If someone comes to NC during two months time, would they be eligible to enroll as a registered voter according to the NC state spokesperson explained.
The clarification was made by way of an advertisement appearing in local newspapers following an uproar from politicians.
PDP Chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said the all-party gathering will take place exactly as planned and everything including the official clarifications issued by the government will be debated.
He claimed it was not more or less the head electoral official who made the remarks about the inclusion of nonlocals.
The Congress party announced on Saturday that representatives from the party will also be attending the event.
AICC In-charge J-K, Rajani Patil, informed reporters that the party opposes the inclusion non-locals on the electoral rolls, and contemplated the possibility of taking legal action in opposition to the move of the government.
There was no reaction to date to the Peoples Conference led by Sajad Lone regarding the presence at the meeting or any clarifications, Apni Partiya led by Altaf Bukhari seems to be content with the response of the government.