The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday refuted media reports which claimed that more than 25 lakh additions will be there in the electoral rolls and clarified that Kashmiri migrants would continue to be given the option of voting at their native place of enrollment or through a postal ballot or through the special set up polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, and other places.
The administration said that no change was made in the special provisions for Kashmiri migrants for their enrollment in the electoral rolls of their original constituencies.
It also clarified that there was no change in rules regarding buying properties and jobs in the state and it has no link to the representation of voters or otherwise.
The Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) released an order that there was to enable young persons who become eligible to register themselves as voters. Besides, it also allowed a person who changed his ordinary place of residence to enroll at the new location by getting himself deleted at the old location.
It said that the number of electors as published in the special summary revision of J&K in 2011 was 66,00,921 and it has now increased to 76,02,397. This was mainly due to the new voters, who attained the age of 18 years.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar told reporters that more than 20 lakh new voters would be enrolled in the region ahead of polls. This will increase the voter count by more than a third, adding to the existing 76 lakh voters in the region.
The senior leaders of Jammu and Kashmir criticized the election commission’s decision of giving voting rights to non-locals in the state and called an all-party meeting on this issue.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that it will be the last nail in the coffin of Indian democracy. It was a dangerous attempt to influence elections in the state.