Chandigarh News :The BJP in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday slammed the NC, PDP and others for raking up the issue of “inclusion of non-local voters” in the revised electoral rolls in the Union Territory and alleged they were spreading propaganda to disturb the peace.
Addressing a press conference, BJP’s J&K unit president Ravinder Raina said there was no issue of “locals or non-locals” as the Constitution gives the right to every citizen to vote after attaining the age of 18.
“The Representative of the People Act was implemented across the country in 1950 and was extended to J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 (in August 2019). The revision of electoral rolls is taking place in accordance with the Act,” the BJP leader said.
He was speaking after chairing a meeting of senior BJP leaders at party headquarters here to chalk out a “counter-strategy” in the wake of the meeting convened by NC president Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar, where nine parties vowed to oppose by all means, including in court, any decision to include “non-locals” in electoral rolls.
The meeting was attended by the NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), JDU and the Akali Dal Mann. However, Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference and Altaf Bukhar’s Apni Party stayed away.
Raina said Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also answerable to the country after her party leaders took part in the meeting as the Act was implemented by the Congress in 1950.
“There is no justification for their misleading propaganda. When PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed can fight and win elections from Uttar Pradesh and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is elected from Maharashtra, there was no uproar at that time.
“How can they oppose those who are living here for decades and were deprived of their rights during their rule over the past 70 years?” he said, adding the BJP will launch an awareness campaign on the issue.
Sayeed, who is the father of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, had won from Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha seat in UP in 1989. Azad became a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 1984.
“Farooq Abdullah himself was a Union minister, a chief minister, and his name was recently proposed for the post of president by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee,” he said.
On allegations that it was an attempt by the BJP to increase its voters, Raina said his party does not need bogus voters as it will achieve its goal of over 50 assembly seats with the support of J&K residents who are satisfied with the functioning of the party.
Referring to West Pakistani refugees, Gorkhas and Valmikis who got voting rights in local elections after the abrogation of Article 370, he said they are getting the chance to register themselves as voters for the first time in 70 years because they were earlier denied the right by these parties.