Abdullah Chairs All Party Meet

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah Monday said that the leaders who participated in the All Party Meet( APM) at his Gupkar residence unanimously decided to oppose the recent announcement of Election Commission about giving voting rights to non-J&K residents. Senior Abdullah said the decision of voting rights to outsiders was “totally unacceptable and if needed, we can approach court to oppose the move.”

Addressing the media men, after APM, Dr Farooq said that he had convened the meeting to discuss the fall-out of recent announcement of EC about giving voting rights to non-J&K residents including labourers and security forces personnel. “The parties who participated in the meeting include NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), JDU and Akali Dal,” he said.

J&K’s identity is facing a direct assault as Dogra’s, Kashmiris, Sikhs and other communities are losing their identity,” said Dar Farooq, who was flanked by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, ANC leader Muzaffar Shah and newly elected J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool besides others.

Dr Farooq said that five days ago, he rang up LG Manoj Sinha and requested him to convene an APM like one held on the issue of Amarnath Yatra. “I had requested LG to invite all parties, but there was no outcome,” he said, adding that last time, LG had stated that “he will be inviting J&K leaders frequently, but he failed to keep his word.”

Asked about future strategy, he said that today APM explored all options and if needed, “we can approach court as well to oppose the EC’s decision of giving voting rights to non-J&K residents.”

“I wonder why J&K was chosen for this. There must be some motive,” he said.

Abdullah said that in the month of September, he will invite leaders of national parties to Srinagar or Jammu, and brief them about the prevailing situation in J&K.

Earlier Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone, who stayed away from Dr Farooq led APM on Monday said he will sit on hunger strike before the parliament and other constitutional bodies if there is an attempt by the Government to change the electoral demography of Jammu & Kashmir.

Addressing a news conference here, Lone said he neither accepts the clarification issued by Jammu & Kashmir administration nor does he rejects it.

“We will wait and watch and if there is an attempt to change the demography of J&K, we will go on hunger strike,” he said.

Mufti, Azad contested polls from other states: BJP

In an attempt to counter the All Party Meeting (APM) called by Gupkar Alliance over non local voters row, BJP Monday said that opposition parties sans logic to oppose ‘non-local’ voters as PDP founder Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and Congress stalwart leader Gulam Nabi Azad themselves have contested polls from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively in the past.

Countering the narrative, the BJP held a parallel meeting at its headquarters in Jammu to chalk out a “counter-strategy” against the meeting called by Abdullah in Srinagar.

Addressing media after the meeting, BJP president Ravinder Raina said PDP founder and former CM Mufti had 1989 contested elections in Muzaffar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and later he took oath as Home Minister. Congress leader and former CM Ghulam Nabi Azad won election from Maharashtra for their own benefits but when somebody who is residing here for many decades are getting rights, these parties are trying to vitiate the atmosphere.

“We are all residents of one nation and there is no discrimination against anyone. Law is the same for everyone and the Constitution of India has given the right to equality to everyone,” Raina said.

Raina added that the people of J & K have been residing in Delhi, Maharashtra etc for many years, they have surrendered the vote in J&K and have got voting rights there. There was no propaganda there and no one called them outsiders in those places.
The BJP, meanwhile, accused the NC, PDP and other parties of spreading “misleading propaganda” to poison the minds of the people over the issue of “inclusion of non-local voters” in the revised electoral rolls.

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