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Voting Rights For Non-Locals Unacceptable, Former Jammu and Kashmir State Chief Says

By Deexa Khanduri | Samizdat | August 24, 2022 

Until August 2019, the Indian Constitution’s Article 370 restricted voting rights in Jammu and Kashmir to its permanent residents who belong to the region by birth. The Election Commission of India (ECI) last week said Indian citizens temporarily living in Jammu and Kashmir are now eligible to cast their votes in the union territory.

Former chief of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah has said that giving voting rights to non-locals is “totally unacceptable,” and if needed, local politicians will go to court against the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision.

He said this after presiding over a meeting of Kashmiri political parties held on Monday, which was attended by Congress, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CP, JDU, and Akali Dal.

Two regional parties that did not attend the meeting were the Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari and the People’s Conference of Sajad Lone.

Lone on Monday said that it would stage a hunger strike in front of the parliament if there was a demographic intervention or the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were compromised.

The Election Commission of India last week said Indian citizens temporarily living in Jammu and Kashmir are now eligible to cast their votes in the union territory.

The ECI’s announcement is expected to add a significant number of voters to the existing ones.

“Tomorrow, it will be five million or ten million,” Abdullah said Monday, adding the move is a direct threat to the identity of Jammu and Kashmir natives — Dogras, Kashmiris, Sikhs, and other communities who are losing their identity.

A section of local parties saw the ECI’s announcement as an attempt to change the demography of the Muslim-dominated region.

August 25, 2022 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , ,

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