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

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.”

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.”

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.”