The Jammu administration on Wednesday withdrew a notification that authorised all tehsildars to issue certificates of residence to people residing in the winter capital “for more than one year”. According to the new order by Deputy Commissioner of Jammu, Avny Lavasa, the notification issued under the subject The Special Summary Revision 2022, acceptance of document for registration of electors, dated October 11 is withdrawn and be treated as void, reported news agency ANI.

The order has been withdrawn amid strong objections from regional parties.

“The Government is going ahead with its plan to add 25 lakh non-local voters in J&K and we continue to oppose this move. BJP is scared of the elections & knows it will lose badly. People of J&K must defeat these conspiracies at the ballot box,” former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference tweeted late Tuesday.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti termed the now-withdrawn notification as central government “colonial settler project”. Mufti said that the order “will bear the first blow to Dogra culture, identity, employment & business.”

“There will be a flood of people into Jammu from outside… As outsiders will get a right to vote, it aims to finish the value of vote of residents of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

M Y Tarigami, CPI(M) leader and spokesperson for the Gupkar alliance, alleged that the order was the “beginning of a wider plan to give voting rights to non-locals to reduce the weightage of locals & change electoral demographics.”

“All parties and civil society groups must reject this arbitrary inclusion of non- locals. BJP’s designs must be defeated,” he added.

BJP, however, argued that the move was in accordance with India’s electoral laws which allow people to enlist as voters in a place they’ve been living for a year or more.

The special summary revision of electoral rolls has been started in the Union Territory for registration of new voters, deletion, correction, and transposition of voters who have migrated or died since the last summary revision. In August, then chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar said Jammu and Kashmir is likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters following the special summary revision of electoral rolls.

“…keeping in view the urgency involved in the matter and to ensure that no eligible voter is left for registration during the Special Summary Revision, 2022 in District Jammu, all Tehsildars are authorized to issue a certificate of residence after conducting necessary field verifications, to the person(s) residing in District Jammu for more than one year, for the purpose,” Lavasa said in the order.

(With ANI inputs)

By Shadab

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