Experts, political parties question record addition of voters to IIOJK final list

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After the final electoral rolls of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir were published, some experts and political parties questioned the record addition of over 11 lakh voters to the list.

The final electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir were published with the highest-ever addition of 11.28 lakh new voters.

Political expert A N Sadhu said out of the 11 lakh new voters, 3 lakh are first-time voters. Eight lakh new voters across different assembly segments can change the total vote bank equilibrium in favour of the ruling party.

He said this sudden increase in the number of new voters “is a matter of concern.” Out of the over 11 lakh new voters added to the electoral rolls, 3 lakh are first-time voters. But what about the remaining over 8 lakh new voters, he asked.

Sadhu said the authorities appear to have adopted a “clandestine approach” to add those from outside Jammu and Kashmir to the electoral rolls.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader M Y Tarigami said apprehensions raised by remarks of officials about outsiders being added to Jammu and Kashmir’s electoral rolls seem to have come true.

He was referring to the statement made by former Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar in August that the territory is likely to get around 25 lakh additional voters, including outsiders, after the special summary revision of electoral rolls.

“All non-BJP parties have formed a committee to look into all the issues. We hope to deliberate on these issues soon and come out with our responses,” Tarigami said.

The chief spokesperson of Indian National Congress chapter in IIOJK, Ravinder Sharma, said: “Our apprehension that some non-eligible voters have been added from outside Jammu and Kashmir as per announcement appears to be true.”—INP