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Delimitation May Add 25 Lakh New Names to J&K Voters' List, Ex-CMs Make 'Non-Locals' Claim

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 18, 2022, 08:26 IST

Jammu and Kashmir, India

Hirdesh Kumar Singh also informed that the youth, who attain 18 years of age by or before October 1, were eligible to be enrolled as voters. (File photo/PTI)

Hirdesh Kumar Singh also informed that the youth, who attain 18 years of age by or before October 1, were eligible to be enrolled as voters. (File photo/PTI)

Chief electoral officer of J&K, Hirdesh Kumar Singh, informed that on September 15 draft of the voters’ list will be released at every polling station

In a move that would let many citizens exercise their voting rights in Jammu and Kashmir, a special summary revision of electoral rolls is underway in the Union territory and is likely to add around 25 lakh new voters to the existing voters’ list. Chief electoral officer of J&K, Hirdesh Kumar Singh, said that the exercise, being conducted after January 1, 2019, will help an ordinarily residing person can become a voter in J&K to exercise his right to franchise. He added that the move was possible after abrogation of Article 370.

Addressing mediapersons in Jammu on Wednesday, Singh said, “The special summary revision is being done after January 2019. Now, a massive exercise of summary revision of electoral rolls is on following reconstitution of assembly seats on the recommendations of the delimitation panel. The mapping is in full throttle.”

“The exercise is being done after January 2019 which means those who attained 18 years of age after January 1, 2019, will be added to the voters’ list and I anticipate that massive voters will be added, including those who today are of 19, 20, 21, 22 or 23 years of age. They will get the opportunity to get their names added,” he said.

According to a national daily, the booth-level officers, electoral registration officers (EROs), and (AEROs) have been appointed for the purpose.

The move, however, did not go down well with the leaders in the Union territory, who accused the BJP-ruled centre of trying to “influence election results by allowing non-locals to vote”.

“GOIs decision to defer polls in J&K preceded by egregious gerrymandering tilting the balance in BJPs favour & now allowing non locals to vote is obviously to influence election results. Real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.

Another former CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah questioned if the “BJP was insecure about support from genuine voters of Jammu and Kashmir”. “Is the BJP so insecure about support from genuine voters of J&K that it needs to import temporary voters to win seats? None of these things will help the BJP when the people of J&K are given a chance to exercise their franchise,” he tweeted.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the CEO informed that on September 15 draft of the voters’ list will be released at every polling station. “We have added 600 new polling stations following the reconstitution of assembly seats and total number of polling stations has now gone up to 11,370 as of day,” he said.

Hirdesh Kumar Singh also informed that the youth, who attain 18 years of age by or before October 1, were eligible to be enrolled as voters. “Though addition of new voters is a continual exercise and anyone can approach offline and online to us, for the ongoing special summary revision, October 25 is the last date for claims and objections. And, by November 25, final electoral rolls in accordance with 90 assembly constituencies will be released,” he was quoted as saying.

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first published:August 18, 2022, 08:06 IST
last updated:August 18, 2022, 08:26 IST