Kashmir News Trust [KNT]
National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah presided the ‘All Party Meeting’ that was called to deliberate upon the inclusion of 25 lakh non-local voters in Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was attended by Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Vikar Rasool, Hasnain Masoodi, Muzafar Shah, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Raman Bhalla and others. Besides NC, PDP and Congress, the representatives of Janata Dal United and Shiv Sena were also present in the meeting.
PAGD spokesperson, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami issued a press statement after the culmination of the meeting which read that they reject the inclusion of non-local voters and want to meet LG Manoj Sinha. The statement further read that they wanted to meet LG just like they met to him prior to the Amarnath Yatra but LG office didn’t call them for a meeting.
After the meeting National Conference president, Farooq Abdullah talked to reporters and said all opposition parties are against the new law (inclusion of non-locals as voters in Jammu and Kashmir) and they are thinking of moving the court on the matter.
H said, “We will invite the leaders of all national parties to Jammu & Kashmir in September and keep our issues before them.”
He also said that he had requested L-G Manoj Sinha to call an all-party meeting to discuss the developments. However, it was not considered.
“We do not accept this. We have differences but all parties present here have come together realizing that tomorrow we could be left out of our assembly,” Abdullah added.
The meeting was convened following remarks by the J&K Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar on the addition of voters in the revised electoral rolls after which the Jammu and Kashmir’s Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) issued a clarification stating that there is no change in the special provisions for the enrolment of Kashmiri migrants.
Mehbooba Mufti however said that the clarification from DIPR was itself an endorsement. She tweeted: “The ‘Clarification’ issued by DIPR is a silent endorsement of the statement given by the Chief Election Officer. Doesn’t address our apprehensions about nonlocals en masse being given the power to vote.Yet another design to dispossess people of J&K.”
Farooq Abdullah told reporters the APM discussed the fallout of voting rights to non-locals living in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NC president said that 25 lakh non-locals are being given voting rights. “Tomorrow it will be 50 lakh or one crore,’’ he said. He said the identity of Jammu and Kashmir is facing a direct assault as Dogras, Kashmiris, Sikhs and other communities are losing their identity.
He said the consequences of the voting rights would be that “Assembly will be in the hands of outsiders tomorrow.”
“I wonder why J&K was chosen for this,’’ he said. “There must be some motive.” (KNT)