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IIOJK Opposition parties announce protests on inclusion of non-local voters

Jammu, October 18 (KMS): A committee formed by opposition parties against the inclusion of non-locals in the electoral rolls in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has announced to hold protests against the infringement on the Kashmiris’ franchise.

The panel, which included all the five constituents of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and several other political parties like the Congress and the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) met in Jammu for the first time since it was constituted on October 8.

“Our protests on the roads will be peaceful and in accordance with our constitutional rights,” senior National Conference leader and MP Hasnain Masoodi told reporters after the meeting at the residence of PAGD chairperson and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in Jammu.

Flanked by members of the committee including former minister Lal Singh of DSSP, Awami National Conference president Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, and former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman, Masoodi said the final decision to start the public outreach programme will be taken after consultation with senior leaders.

“We will put forth the panel’s view before the senior leadership and they will take a final call on the timing of the start of the campaign,” he said, adding “this will be done very soon.

One of the leaders attending the meeting said all members of the panel were present except former minister and DSS president Gulchain Singh Charak due to a “death in his family”.

However, three more representatives of different religious and social groups attended the meeting after they were included in the panel, he said.

Masoodi said all the participants are against giving voting rights to non-locals as “it will be tantamount to the disenfranchisement of the local voters”.

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