The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday clarified that the controversy over the addition of 25 lakh new voters during the revision of electoral rolls was nothing but the ‘misrepresentation of facts that is being spread by vested interests.’ Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar last week said that 20 to 25 lakh new voters are likely to be added to the electoral rolls.
In a statement, the J&K administration said; “There have been media reports that more than 25 lakh additions will be there in the electoral rolls once the process of electoral roll revision starts. This is a misrepresentation of facts, which is being spread by the vested interests. This revision of electoral rolls will cover existing residents of the UT of J&K and increase in numbers will be of the voters who have attained the age of 18 years as on 1.10.2022 or earlier.”
The clarification comes ahead of an all-party meeting that has been convened by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, MP and the chief of National Conference chief, in Srinagar on Monday to formulate a joint strategy against the move to include ‘non-locals’ in the electoral rolls. Other opposition parties, particularly those which are Kashmir-centric, have criticised the move.
The statement also said that “summary revision of electoral rolls is undertaken by the Election Commission from time to time according to a laid down process. This is to enable young persons who become eligible to register themselves as voters. Besides, it also allows a person who has changed his ordinary place of residence to enrol at a new location by getting himself deleted at the old location.”
“Number of Electors as published in Special Summary Revision of J&K State in 2011 was 66,00,921; and number of electors as on today in the electoral roll of J&K UT is 76,02,397. This increase is mainly due to the new voters, who attained the age of 18 years,” the statement further reads.
The J&K administration has further clarified that “there is no change in the special provisions for Kashmiri migrants for their enrolment in the electoral rolls of their original native constituencies. They will continue to be given the option of voting at their place of enrolment or through postal ballot or through specially setup polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, etc.”
“It is further clarified that there is no change in rules regarding buying of property and jobs in the Government of UT of J&K and has no link to representation of voters or otherwise,” the statement added.