BJP slams parties raising issue of ‘non-local’ voters in J&K, reminds PDP its founder fought election from UP

The BJP in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday slammed the NC, PDP and others for raking up the issue of “inclusion of non-local voters” in the revised electoral rolls in the Union Territory and alleged they were spreading propaganda to disturb the peace.
Addressing a press conference, its J&K unit president Ravinder Raina said there was no issue of “locals or non-locals” as the Constitution gives the right to every citizen to vote after attaining the age of 18.
“The Representative of the People Act was implemented across the country in 1950 and was extended to J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 (in August 2019). The revision of electoral rolls is taking place in accordance with the Act,” the BJP leader said.
He was speaking after chairing a meeting of senior BJP leaders at party headquarters here to chalk out a “counter-strategy” in the wake of the meeting convened by NC president Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar, where nine parties vowed to oppose by all means, including in court, any decision to include “non-locals” in electoral rolls.
The meeting was attended by the NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), JDU and the Akali Dal Mann. However, Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference and Altaf Bukhar’s Apni Party stayed away.
Raina said Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also answerable to the country after her party leaders took part in the meeting as the Act was implemented by the Congress in 1950.
“There is no justification for their misleading propaganda. When PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed can fight and win elections from Uttar Pradesh and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is elected from Maharashtra, there was no uproar at that time.
“How can they oppose those who are living here for decades and were deprived of their rights during their rule over the past 70 years?” he said, adding the BJP will launch an awareness campaign on the issue.
Sayeed, who is the father of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, had won from Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha seat in UP in 1989. Azad became a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 1984.
Raina said Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also answerable to the country after her party leaders took part in the meeting as the Act was implemented by Congress in 1950.
On allegations that it was an attempt by the BJP to increase its voters, Raina said his party does not need bogus voters as “we will achieve our goal of 50 plus (assembly seats) with the support of J&K residents who are satisfied with the functioning of the party.” Referring to West Pakistani refugees, Gorkhas and Valmikis who got voting rights in local elections after the abrogation of Article 370, he said they are getting the chance to register themselves as voters for the first time in 70 years because they were earlier denied the right by these parties.
“Our people who are living in different parts of the country are enlisted as voters there but nobody has any objection.
“Farooq Abdullah himself was a union minister, a chief minister, and even his name was recently proposed for the post of president by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and he was happy about it,” he said.
He said Abdullah should stay away from such propaganda as he is a citizen of the country.
Continuing his tirade against the NC, Congress and PDP, he alleged, “They have come together under a conspiracy to mislead the public and disturb the peace.
“They have always done their politics over the dead bodies. They are anti-people and least bothered about the prosperity and development of J&K which is taking place at a fast pace under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“They have enjoyed power only because of boycott politics with the support of separatists and Pakistan. They want a return to bomb attacks, stone pelting and strikes,” he alleged.
However, Raina said the people are fully aware of their “conspiracies” and will not allow them to do “politics of division and hatred”.
“We will also stand like a rock and will launch a massive awareness campaign against their misleading propaganda aimed at poisoning the minds of the people,” he said.
Raina said the people of J&K have shown them that they love their country when they hoisted the tricolour at their homes to mark the completion of 75 years of independence.
He said BJP “will restore the golden era of Jammu and Kashmir and safeguard the fundamental and human rights of each citizen to make it a heaven on earth once again”.