Jammu, Nov 9: J&K Congress Saturday said the 'none of the above' (NOTA) voting option should not be applied in Jammu and Kashmir as it would strengthen the separatist campaign in the State.
"The NOTA option for voting would only strengthen the hands of separatists," senior Congress leader and Medical Education Minister Taj Mohiuddin said at a function in Gandhi Nagar area of Jammu.
"I have written a letter to the Prime Minister and the Congress high command that the option of NOTA should not be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, as it would be used by separatists for their anti-election campaign," Taj said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir later, the minister elaborated: "Not only in Kashmir, we are seeking non-implementation of such decision in all the disturbed areas including North East."
He said that giving NOTA option would mean "indirectly inviting referendum against Indian establishment and that is what the separatists have been all along demanding."
The minister added, "If you give such an option to the people it will mean giving a boycott option to them and in a way it will boost those who are against the democratic set-up."
"Kashmir psychology can be understood by a Kashmiri only," the minister said.
Many leaders of the Congress-National Conference ruling coalition have been opposing the introduction of the NOTA voting option on electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the forthcoming Lok Sabha and the State Assembly elections to be held in 2014.
Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, whose house arrest restrictions were lifted by the authorities earlier this month, has been travelling to different parts of Kashmir as part of his election boycott campaign.
Geelani has been drawing large crowds at his public meetings. He said participation in the election process gives legitimacy to Indian rule in Kashmir and asked people to stay away from it.