Misrepresentation of facts by vested interests: J-K admin on reports of inclusion of 25 lakh voters

The CEO's remarks came under severe criticism from the mainstream political parties here who alleged that the "inclusion of non-locals was a clear cut ploy to disenfranchise the people of Jammu and Kashmir".
Chief Electoral Officer J&K Hirdesh Kumar (C) at a press conference in Jammu. [Representational picture]
Chief Electoral Officer J&K Hirdesh Kumar (C) at a press conference in Jammu. [Representational picture]Mir Imran/ GK File

Srinagar, Aug 20: Reports of over 25 lakh additional voters in Jammu and Kashmir is a "misrepresentation of facts by vested interests", the Union Territory administration said on Saturday.

It said that the revision of electoral rolls will cover existing residents of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In an advertisement published in local dailies by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations, the administration said the summary revision of electoral rolls is undertaken by the Election Commission from time to time according to the laid down process.

The clarification comes after a controversy broke out following the chief electoral officer's (CEO) remark that 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, are likely to be added to the electoral rolls in J-K.

The CEO's remarks came under severe criticism from the mainstream political parties here who alleged that the "inclusion of non-locals was a clear cut ploy to disenfranchise the people of Jammu and Kashmir".

However, in the newspaper advertisement on Saturday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said the summary revision was to enable eligible young people to register themselves as voters.

Besides, it also allows a person who has changed his residence to enrol at a new location by getting his name deleted from the electoral rolls at the earlier location, the advertisement stated.

The number of electors as published in the Special Summary Revision of Jammu and Kashmir state in 2011 was 66,00,921 and the number in the electoral roll of the Union Territory now is 76,02,397, the Information Department said.

"This increase is mainly due to the new voters, who attained the age of 18 years," it added.

The administration said there have been media reports that over 25 lakh voters will be added to the electoral rolls once the revision process starts.

"This is a misrepresentation of facts spread by vested interests. This revision of electoral rolls will cover existing residents of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the increase in numbers will be of the voters who have attained the age of 18 years as of October 1, 2022, or earlier," it said.

The advertisement stated 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 set up polling stations at Jammu, Udhampur, Delhi, etc," it said.

The administration clarified that there is no change in rules for buying property and getting jobs in Jammu and Kashmir and "have no link to the representation of voters or otherwise".

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