DC Jammu’s order on facilitating registration of non-locals as electors highly suspicious: PC

SRINAGAR — Reacting to the directive issued by DC Jammu to facilitate registration of non-locals as electors, Peoples Conference (PC) Wednesday said that the order is highly suspicious and the onus of proving the suspicions wrong yet again lies on the ECI and the J&K administration.

“The directive issued by DC Jammu authorising revenue officials to issue certificates of residence to outsiders residing in Jammu for more than one year is highly suspicious. It reinforces the apprehensions in the minds of locals that outsiders are being enabled to register as voters in order to change the demographic profile of J&K. This action is also in blatant violation of SC judgment in ECI Vs Dr. Manmohan Singh case, where the court held that the ordinary resident in a constituency as mentioned in the Representation of the People Act, 1950 shall mean a habitual resident of that place or a resident as a matter of fact in regular, normal or usual course and that the residence must be permanent in character and for a considerable time with intention to dwell permanently,” PC spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson further asserted that apprehensions of demographic intervention in J&K are actually fuelled by unwarranted actions, gestures and statements of certain officers of the election authority.

“First, the press conference of the CEO claiming registration of 25 lakh outside voters created doubts about demographic intervention and then the State Administration had to retract from this statement by issuing a clarification. Now, the Dy Commr. Jammu has provided fodder to such apprehensions by her latest directive forcing the people of J&K to believe that such demographic intervention is actually taking shape,” he said.

PC accordingly urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) as well as J&K Administration to come clean in the matter and clarify if DC Jammu has been authorized to issue such a directive and if so, under what law, rule or norm. — (KNO)