Political heat rises on issue of ‘non-local voters’

Political heat rises on issue of ‘non-local voters’

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Friday lashed out at Jammu and Kashmir’s poll officer for his statement on inclusion of non-local voters in the electoral rolls, saying the irresponsible remarks were made without authority and any legal jurisdiction.
He also said there was no such law which gave voting rights to non-state subjects in the Union territory (UT), and the domicile law was about jobs and elections.
The officer gave a statement about 25 lakh additional voters. This is an irresponsible and wrong statement, he told reporters here.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar had recently announced that the Union territory was likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, after the special summary revision of electoral rolls being held for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370.
Baig, who is also a lawyer, said a domicile certificate, as defined in Section 3-A of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Decentralisation and Recruitment Rules, 2010, can be issued by a tehsildar to those who lived in the UT for 15 years or studied in schools here for seven years.
They can get jobs, but not become citizens and do not have voting rights, he said.
Meanwhile, the Awami National Conference (ANC) alleged that the development clearly signals that the BJP’s Kashmir policy has turned into a disaster.
Talking to reporters here, ANC senior vice president Muzzafar Shah told reporters here that the reports given to the top BJP leadership have reported a rout for the party in both regions of Jammu and Kashmir, hence this shameful, illegal and unconstitutional attempt at disenfranchising the people.
—PTI

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