Voting rights to non J&K residents totally unacceptable to us: Farooq Abdullah after APM

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Voting rights to non J&K residents totally unacceptable to us: Farooq Abdullah after APM

*Says exploring options to fight injustice; can go to court to oppose move; Dogras, Kashmiris, Sikhs, losing identity; tomorrow J&K Assembly will be in hands of outsiders; will invite national party leaders in Sep to brief them about entire situation; my duty was to invite all parties, can’t force anyone to join us; Apni Party, PC stay away from meet*

Sheikh Danish

Srinagar, Aug 22 (KNO): National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah Monday said that the leaders who participated in the All Party Meet( APM) at his Gupkar residence unanimously decided to oppose the recent announcement of Election Commission about giving voting rights to non-J&K residents. Senior Abdullah said the decision of voting rights to outsiders was “totally unacceptable and if needed, we can approach court to oppose the move.”

Addressing the media men, after APM, Dr Farooq said that he had convened the meeting to discuss the fall-out of recent announcement of EC about giving voting rights to non-J&K residents including labourers and security forces personnel. “The parties who participated in the meeting include NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), JDU and Akali Dal,” he said as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

He said that at present the number of non J&K residents who have been given voting rights is 25 lakh. “Tomorrow the number may go up to 50 lakh or 1 Crore. J&K’s identity is facing a direct assault as Dogra’s, Kashmiris, Sikhs and other communities are loosing their identity,” said Dar Farooq, who was flanked by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, ANC leader Muzaffar Shah and newly elected J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool besides others.

The NC chief said that the fall-out of voting rights to non J&K residents will be that tomorrow “Assembly will be in the hands of outsiders.”

Dr Farooq said that five days ago, he rang LG Manoj Sinha and requested him to convene an APM like one held on the issue of Amarnath Yatra. “I had requested LG to invite all parties, but there was no outcome,” he said, adding that last time, LG had stated that “he will be inviting J&K leaders frequently, but he failed to keep the word.”

Asked about future strategy, he said the today APM explored all options and if needed, “we can approach court as well to oppose the EC’s decision of giving voting rights to non-J&K residents.”

“I wonder why J&K was choosen for this. There must be some motive,” he said. He said that in the month of September, he will invite leaders of national parties to Srinagar or Jammu, and brief them about the prevailing situation in J&K and the fresh moves of Centre to change the identity of people belonging to various communities in J&K. Pertinently, Apni Party and Peoples Conference stayed away from APM.

Dr Farooq also condemned the recent killings of Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims, policemen and security forces personnel

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