“The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” tweeted PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
Jammu and Kashmir Union Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar on Wednesday said non-locals can now vote in the assembly elections in the Union Territory and about 25 lakh new voters are likely to be added to the voter’s list.
“After the abrogation of Article 370, many people who were not enlisted as voters in the erstwhile J&K state are now eligible to vote and can be added to the voter list. As per the provisions of the Representation of the Peoples Act, a person living ordinarily in the UT can avail of the opportunity to get enlisted as a voter in J&K. He has to get enlisted as a voter and the ERO will take a final call on adding him/her in the voter list,” Kumar said. According to Kumar, there is no need for the Permanent Resident Certificate or domicile certificate for voting rights in the J&K UT.
On service voters, he said J&K residents, who work in different states, do have the option to register themselves as service voters. Kashmir-based political parties such as PDP, National Conference, and Peoples Conference slammed the move to give voting rights in J&K Assembly to non-locals.
“GOI’s decision to defer polls in J&K preceded by egregious gerrymandering tilting the balance in BJPs favour & now allowing non-locals to vote is obviously to influence election results. The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” tweeted PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
NC vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “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.”