Electoral rolls controversy: Vested interests misrepresenting facts, says J&K govt
The J&K government has said the revision of electoral rolls would include existing residents of the Union Territory, and the increase in numbers will be of voters who have attained the age of 18 years as of October 1, 2022, or earlier.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued a clarification with regard to the ongoing controversy over non-locals being given voting rights, stating that there is no change in special provisions for Kashmiri migrants for their enrolment in electoral rolls of their original native constituencies. The administration said that there was no change in the rules regarding buying property and jobs in the J&K govt and no link to the representation of voters or otherwise.
Countering reports that over 25 lakh additions will be made to the electoral rolls once the revision process starts, the Directorate of Information and Public Relations of the J&K government said that the Election Commission conducts summary revisions of electoral rolls from time to time as per the established process.
According to the government, this is aimed at enabling young persons to become eligible to register themselves as voters and allows persons who have changed their ordinary place of residence to enrol at new locations by getting themselves deleted at the old locations.
Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar had recently announced that after the special summary revision of electoral rolls being held for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370, the Union Territory was likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders. This sparked a massive controversy with Kashmiri parties terming it as a 'shameful, illegal and unconstitutional attempt at disenfranchising the people'. They also stated that there was no such law that gave voting rights to non-state subjects in the Union territory, and the domicile law was about jobs and elections.
However, asserting that vested interests were misrepresenting facts, the J&K government has said the revision of electoral rolls would include existing residents of the Union Territory, and the increase in numbers will be of voters who have attained the age of 18 years as of October 1, 2022, or earlier.
The Union Territory administration also clarified that Kashmiri migrants would continue to be given the option of voting at their place of enrolment or through postal ballot or through special polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, etc.
Further, the administration made it clear that there was no link between the representation of voters and rules regarding buying of property and government jobs.