Expressing strong reservations over inclusion of outside voters in Jammu and Kashmir electoral rolls, Congress on Thursday said this move clearly shows that BJP has lost local support, so it wants outsiders to defeat the mandate of the people of the Union territory.
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar said the Union territory is likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, as people ordinarily residing here even for work purpose can cast vote in the next assembly elections.
"We have strong reservations over the move to enroll 25 lakh new voters, especially outside voters, under the misplaced interpretation of the category of 'ordinarily residents' of Union territory. In that case, will the residents of J&K or outsiders elect their representatives in the next elections?" J&K Pradesh Congress Committee working president Raman Bhalla said in a statement here.
Mr Bhalla further said, "How come the chief electoral officer knows the exact number of outsiders, entitled to become voters in J&K, when they have yet to apply. How and why the provision is being misused to enroll those as voters, who are otherwise not eligible?" He said they seriously viewed that the provision of "ordinarily residents" as contained in section 20 of the Representation of Peoples Act, which is primarily meant to protect the voting rights of those who are temporarily outside their respective place of residence in connection with job, business, profession, etc., is being "deliberately misused to give undue benefit to non-eligible persons".
This clearly demonstrates that BJP has lost local support, so it wants outside voters to be enrolled to defeat the mandate of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)