Allowing Non-Locals To Vote In Assembly Polls Will Be ‘Disastrous’, Disempower Locals: Political Parties

Srinagar, Aug 17: National Conference, PDP, JKPC, CPI (M) and Congress on Wednesday reacted sharply to the election commission statement that “non-local residing in Jammu and Kashmir can vote’ in assembly elections.

Former Chief Minister in PDP-BJP combine Mehbooba Mufti said that decision to allow non-locals to vote was aimed “obviously to influence election results.”

“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. Real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals” she said in a tweet.

The PDP spokesperson in a tweet said “this whole thing about people from outside J&K being allowed to vote here is an extension of the ‘tactical rigging process” that started with the unconstitutional and illegal delimitation process in J&K.”

“ The sole aim of GoI is the complete disempowerment of the people of J&K,” the spokesman said.

National Conference vice president and former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah tweeted: “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,”

CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that “what CEO has said amounts to disenfranchising the people of Jammu and Kashmir further.”

“ The delimitation process through Re-organisation Act was an attempt to change the electoral demography of the region,” he said in a statement to GNS, adding, “In the absence of any representative government in J&K, the union government has been exercising undiluted control in the region through a bureaucratic structure since June 2018. Today’s statement of CEO is a brazen assault on the legitimate aspirations of the people.”

Allowing non-locals to vote in Assembly Elections will be as disastrous as 1987 rigging, J&K Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone said.

Reacting to the statement of Chief Electoral Officer of J&K that every citizen of the country staying in J&K can have voting rights in Assembly elections, Sajad said that such a step would be a replay of 1987.

Taking to microblogging platform Twitter, Sajad said, “This is dangerous. I don’t know what they want to achieve. This is much more than a mischief. Democracy is a relic especially in the context of Kashmir. Please remember 1987. We are yet to come out of that. Don’t replay 1987. It will be as disastrous.”

Former J&K Pradesh Congress Committee President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said that allowing non-locals to vote in Assembly Elections would be disastrous.

In a statement issued here, Mir termed the move politically motivated, disappointing and very unfortunate.

“GOI should respect the emotions of JK People rather than disempowering them by allowing non-locals to vote, which is unacceptable and intolerable to the people of J&K,” he said, adding, “I would suggest GOI to desist from doing such undemocratic experiments and focus on the development of J&K and empowerment of people.”

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