Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP on Monday appealed to the migrant Kashmiri Pandits to ensure that their names are included in the electoral rolls of their respective constituencies in the valley.
BJP spokesperson and former Member of Legislative Council Girdhari Lal Raina, himself a migrant Kashmiri Pandit, asked the election commission not to delete the names of the displaced voters from the voting list.
“During the booth sashaktikaran (empowerment) campaign, it has come to our notice that Booth Level Officers of various constituencies are approaching voters from the displaced community and asking them to confirm where their votes are to be entered into the electoral rolls,” he said.
“The voters belonging to the displaced community are, for obvious reasons, in a state of uncertainty, indecision and in a tight spot,” Raina, flanked by the party’s Kashmir Displaced District (KDD) unit, told reporters here.
He said a common voter who is away from his territorial constituency for more than three decades finds it difficult to comprehend the importance of remaining integrated into their place of origin.
“We appeal to the community to ensure that their names in the electoral rolls of Kashmir are properly and correctly registered. Its importance is further accentuated and reinforced by the strong resolve and explicit intent to return to places of our origin,” he said.
Therefore, the KDD unit of the BJP is appealing to the community to express their decision to remain part of their territorial constituencies in Kashmir, Raina said.
He said the BJP understands the developmental needs of places, where the community resides outside the valley.
“BJP assures the community that just because they are not registered as voters in areas like those falling under the jurisdiction of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), their developmental needs like construction and repair of lanes, drains and roads will not be allowed to get ignored,” he said.
Raina asked the state Election Commission to explore the possibility of allowing these voters to be entered into the electoral list for JMC and other Urban local bodies (ULB) where they presently live.
“Articles 243K and 243ZA deal with elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states and empowers the State Election Commission with the authority of superintendence, direction and control of preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of Panchayat and ULB election.” “This way the displaced community will continue to be voters of their territorial constituencies of Kashmir for assembly and parliamentary seats,” Raina said.