Delhi Has No Intention To Tamper With J&K’s Demography: Altaf Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday urged the centre government to come clear about the recent announcement by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) suggesting the government has decided to enable non-locals to register their names on the voting list and vote in the forthcoming J&K assembly elections.

In a hurriedly called press conference at party headquarters in Srinagar, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “CEO’s statement announcing that non-locals are being included in J&K’s voter list has caused apprehensions among the masses in J&K. People are apprehended that this move may be aimed at disempowering them further and tinkering with the J&K’s demography. Thus, I appeal to the Prime Minister to make himself available to remove the confusion about the issue and eradicate fears of the people.”

He hoped that clarification from the centre would come within a few days. He said, “We will wait till Sunday, as we hope that the government of India would come up with a plausible explanation on this matter soon.”

Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said that he and the Prime Minister has already assured the J&K people that New Delhi has no intention to tamper with J&K’s demography.

He said, “Post August 5, 2019, when we met Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi on March 14, 2020, he was very clear about his stance that there will be no demographic change in J&K. I hope his government would honor its word.”

Responding to the question from the reporters, Apni Party President said, “There is a lot of confusion about what the CEO has said. We are unable to understand how a person can be eligible to vote in two places —one’s native place, and where he or she resides temporarily. If a Kashmir student studying in Bangalore cannot vote there, how can a person from Bangalore vote here in J&K?”

He said the Apni Party has assigned its legal team the job of examining the ramifications of the government decision enabling non-locals to vote in J&K.

Apni Party President said that the “statement of the CEO has disturbed the J&K people, who were coming to terms with the situation caused by the post-August 5, 2019, occurrences. Therefore, the GoI ought to come clean about the Chief Electoral Officer’s confusing and controversial statement.”

“Apni Part will fight with its full might to ensure J&K people are not disempowered further.” he added.

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