IIOJK in focus

Voting rights to outsiders totally unacceptable, all-party meet tells India

Srinagar, August 22 (KMS): Participants of the all-party meeting have unanimously decided to oppose the recent announcement by the Modi regime to give Indian citizens the right to vote in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

This was announced by National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah while addressing the media men after chairing the all-party meeting at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar, today.

Farooq Abdullah said the decision of voting rights to outsiders was “totally unacceptable and if needed, we can approach the court to oppose the move”.

He said that he had convened the meeting to discuss the fall-out of the recent announcement of the Indian Election Commission about giving voting rights to non-Kashmiri residents including Indian laborers and government forces’ personnel. “The parties who participated in the meeting include NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI-M, JDU and Akali Dal,” he said.

The NC chief said that at present the number of non-Kashmiri residents who have been given voting rights is 25 lakh. “Tomorrow the number may go up to 50 lakh or 1 Crore. “J&K’s identity is facing a direct assault as Dogras, Kashmiris, Sikhs and other communities are losing their identity,” said Farooq, who was flanked by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI-M leader M Y Tarigami, ANC leader Muzaffar Shah and Congress president Vikar Rasool besides others.

Farooq Abdullah said that the fall-out of voting rights to non-Kashmiri residents will be that tomorrow’s “assembly will be in the hands of outsiders”.

Asked about future strategy, he said that the meeting explored all options and if needed, “we can approach the court as well to oppose the EC’s decision of giving voting rights to non-J&K residents.”

“I wonder why J&K was chosen for this. There must be some motive,” he said.

He said that in the month of September, he will invite leaders of national parties to Srinagar or Jammu, and brief them about the prevailing situation in J&K and the fresh moves of New Delhi to change the identity of people belonging to various communities in the territory.

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