J&K BJP to chalk out strategy against all party meet over inclusion of non-locals in voter list

J&K BJP to chalk out strategy against all party meet over inclusion of non-locals in voter list

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah to hold all-party meet over revised electoral rolls in J&K

The BJP has convened a meeting of its leaders in Jammy on Monday to chalk out a “counter-strategy” against the meeting called by the National Conference over the issue of “inclusion of non-local voters” in the revised electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir.

J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina has called the meeting of senior leaders at the party headquarters, a party spokesperson said.

He said the meeting is being held to chalk out a “counter-strategy” against the “all- party” meeting called by National Conference president Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar over the issue of inclusion of non-local voters in the revised electoral rolls in the Union Territory.

The NC president had called the meeting after remarks related to the addition of voters in the revised rolls by the UT’s Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar raised hackles of the regional parties.

Government clarifies
The government on Saturday had issued a clarification, saying the reports of a likely addition of over 25 lakh voters after the summary revision of electoral rolls is a “misrepresentation of facts by vested interests”.

The Kashmiri migrants “will continue to be given the option of voting at their place of enrolment or through postal ballot or through specially set up polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, etc,” it said.

Mr. 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.

The BJP had defended the Chief Electoral Officer and said his remarks are “legally and constitutionally” correct .

BJP’s chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said under the law, anyone who is a citizen of India and not barred by any law can choose to be a voter in any area, State or Union Territory where he or she may ordinarily reside.

“The same being made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir only. Post Art 370 there has to be one India one law,” he said, accusing the opposition of trying to project the “wrong picture”.

“They are trying somehow to create exceptions in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory which is not permissible. People of Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed the decision (of August 5, 2019) without exception or reservation and political parties have to realise it and live with it,” Mr. Sethi said referring to the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

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