Dr Farooq Calls For All-Party Meet On Aug 22

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Srinagar- A day after Election Commission (EC) announced that people from other parts of the country, who are temporarily residing in the Union Territory, can register as voters and exercise their franchise in the next elections, J&K’s major political parties Thursday said it was a time to convene an all party meet to chalk out future course of action.

National Conference Chief Dr Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti made separate appeals for APM.

Abdullah has convened an all-party meeting here on August 22 to formulate a common position on the issue of inclusion of outside voters in Jammu and Kashmir electoral rolls.

The meeting, scheduled to be held at 11 am on Monday at Abdullah’s residence in Gupkar area of the city here, will discuss the future course of action with regard to the Election Commission allowing outsiders to register as voters in the Union Territory.

Dr Farooq Abdullah has invited leaders of all political parties for a meeting to discuss the recent announcement by the J&K govt regarding inclusion of non-locals in the voter lists. He personally spoke to the leaders & requested them to attend the meet at 11 AM on Mon, 22nd Aug,” the NC said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the party in a statement said Abdullah has invited leaders of all major political parties, except the BJP, for the meeting at his Srinagar residence.

The statement said the NC president has personally spoken to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Waqar Rasool, JKPCC working president Raman Bhalla, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari, Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Ghani Lone and leaders of the Aam Admi Party here.

Abdullah requested the leaders to attend the meeting to formulate a common position on the issue of the inclusion of non-local voters, the statement said.

Pertinently, the PDP president had earlier in the day said that she contacted Dr Farooq and asked him to call an APM over the issue.

Addressing a presser at her Gupkar residence here, Mehbooba said that, “Decisions are not being taken in the interests of the nation, but in the interests of BJP. We have been witnessing how the elections are being rigged everywhere in the country, even before and after the elections as well. The BJP is not going to change the country into Hindu Rashtra, but in BJP Rashtra,” she said, adding that the way Article 370 was removed unconstitutionally and Indian constitution was subverted, it is all in the interests of BJP as after the decision, the party sold J&K plot in rest of the country.

“Despite spending a hefty amount for deradicalization, the decisions are being taken that will certainly radicalize the youth. The government cannot change the ground reality, but it needs to resolve the issue once and for all,” she said.

“It’s not about the legality but about the intentions behind it. The government is not following any rule,” she said when asked about the voting rights of non-locals.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar said the Union Territory is 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.

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