The Deputy Commissioner of Jammu district has withdrawn an order issued on Wednesday that authorised Tehsildars to issue certificates of residence. The rollback came following the uproar by different political parties over the order that authorised all tehsildars to issue certificates of residence to people living in the district for more than one year, said reports.
Regional political parties and the Congress have been opposing the decision to allow voting rights to people ordinarily residing in J&K in connection with business, education, job, etc.
The National Conference, PDP, Congress and other prominent political parties in Jammu and Kashmir had earlier flayed the Jammu administration’s order on facilitating the registration of new voters who are from outside the union territory, while the BJP defended it saying it is in line with the laws.
They were reacting after the Jammu administration authorised tehsildars (revenue officials) to issue a certificate of residence to those residing in the winter capital for more than a year to enable their registration as voters.
While Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the Centre’s “colonial settler project” has been initiated in the region, the National Conference urged the people of J-K to defeat these conspiracies at the ballot box. Former Congress leader and Democratic Azad Party chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad said the order would increase social tensions in J-K, while the Peoples Conference termed the move as “highly suspicious”.
“The ECI’s latest order for registration of new voters makes it clear that GOIs colonial settler project has been initiated in Jammu. They will bear the first blow to Dogra culture, identity, employment & business,” Mufti tweeted. Talking to reporters in Kulgam district in south Kashmir, Mufti said her party has been saying that the BJP has an illegitimate intent behind the abrogation of Article 370.
J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina, however, said the guidelines are in accordance with the Representation of the People Act. There is nothing wrong with people from outside J-K getting enrolled as voters in the Union Territory, a right that is given to them by the Constitution. After the abrogation of Article 370 (in August 2019), the Act came into force in J-K as well, he said.
He accused opposition parties including the National Conference, Congress and PDP of unleashing propaganda under a conspiracy to mislead the people.
With inputs from News18