Srinagar- The efforts of the National Conference and PDP to put up a united front against the “inclusion of non-locals as voters” in Jammu and Kashmir suffered a setback on Monday as the People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone opted out of the “all party” meeting scheduled at the residence of the NC president.
The National Conference called the meeting after remarks related to the addition of voters in the revised rolls by the Union Territory’s Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar raised hackles of the regional parties.
If this effort (all party meeting) was serious, it would not be held under media gaze. Had it been serious, we would have met and you (media) would not even know about it. I don’t agree with the politics of Farooq Abdullah but I have immense respect for him, Lone told reporters.
He said the meeting seemed to be a point-scoring exercise and he would not want to be a part of it.
One lady (Mehbooba Mufti) says call an all party meeting and the other makes (phone) calls for it. Also tell me, how much can we pretend? We abuse each other politically 24 hours a day. I have hurled abuses at them yesterday, they have done it day before. How long can we pretend that everything is hunky dory, he said.
Mehboobaji, desperate to retrieve her (lost) ground, issues diktat for calling all party meeting …. Maharaja Hari Singh’s era has long gone by, he added.
Lone, however, said if anything concrete came out of the meeting, his party will support it wholeheartedly and expected reciprocal attitude from the participants in the meeting for his efforts to deal with the issue of non-local voters.
Referring to the clarification of the union territory administration on the issue of non-local voters, the former minister, who was an ally of the BJP from 2014 to 2018, said, We neither accept nor reject the clarification in totality.
We will wait till 1st October when the draft electoral rolls are published. If there is any wrongdoing, we will hit the streets, not only here but in front of all constitutional institutions of the country like Parliament.This battle cannot be fought here… we have to make people of India aware about what is happening, he added.
The government on Saturday had issued a clarification, saying the reports of a likely addition of over 25 lakh voters after the summary revision of electoral rolls is a “misrepresentation of facts by vested interests”.
The Kashmiri migrants “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.
Kumar had recently announced that the Union territory was 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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