BJP chalks out strategy against all-party meeting on ‘non-local voters’ issue

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The BJP has convened a meeting of its leaders on Monday to chalk out a counter-strategy against the meeting called by the National Conference over the issue of “inclusion of non-local voters” in the revised electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

J-K BJP president Ravinder Raina has called the meeting of senior leaders at the party headquarters, a party spokesperson said.

He said the meeting is being held to chalk out a counter-strategy against the “all-party” meeting called by NC president Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar over the issue of inclusion of non-local voters in the revised electoral rolls in J-K.

The NC president had called the meeting after remarks related to the addition of voters in the revised rolls by J-K’s Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar raised hackles of the regional parties.

The government on Saturday had issued a clarification, saying the reports of a likely addition of over 25 lakh voters after the summary revision of electoral rolls is a “misrepresentation of facts by vested interests”.

“The Kashmiri migrants will continue to be given the option of voting at their place of enrolment or through postal ballot or through specially set up polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, etc,” it said, as per the report.

Kumar had recently announced that the J-K was likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, after the special summary revision of electoral rolls being held for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370.

The BJP had defended the Chief Electoral Officer and said his remarks are legally and constitutionally correct.

BJP’s chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said under the law, anyone who is a citizen of India and not barred by any law can choose to be a voter in any area, State, or Union Territory where he or she may ordinarily reside.

The same is made applicable to J-K. Post abrogation of Article 370 there has to be one India one law, he said, accusing the opposition of trying to project the wrong picture.

“They are trying somehow to create exceptions in J-K which is not permissible. People of J-K have welcomed the decision (of August 5, 2019) without exception or reservation and political parties have to realise it and live with it,” Sethi said referring to the abrogation of the special status of J-K. (PTI)

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