Only permanent residents can vote in J

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Srinagar, Jul 27 (UNI) Rejecting the allegations that non-locals have been enrolled in the electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) B R Sharma said only state subject participate in the ensuing general Assembly elections.

There is no truth in the allegations that a number of non-locals have been enrolled in the electoral rolls and have been provided election identity cards to change the demographic character of the state, the CEO said.

However, he admitted that there were three reports where some non-locals have managed to enroll their names in the voter list eligible for polling in Assembly elections.

He said under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, only permanent residents (State Subjects) of the state are entitled to be registered in the electoral rolls for the Assembly constituencies.

However, he clarified that the citizens of India who are otherwise ordinarily residents in the state are entitled to be registered as electors only for voting in the Parliamentary elections.

Mr Sharma said the Election Commission of India has issued instructions that common electoral rolls should be prepared in Jammu and Kashmir for holding elections to the state Legislative Assembly as and to the Parliament (Lok Sabha).

However, he said, the rolls for Assembly constituencies are prepared under the provisions of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of People Act, 1957 (State Act) and the Jammu and Kashmir Registration of Electoral Rules, 1966.

Similarly, the rolls of Parliamentary Constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir are prepared under provisions of the Constitution of India and the provisions of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1950 (Central Act) and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 (Central Rules).

The CEO said special legal provisions exist for enrolling permanent residents of the state who are serving in defence forces and are posted in other parts of the country. These electors are called service electors and are enrolled in the last part of the electoral roll, he said.

However, Mr Sharma added that it needs to be made absolutely clear that troops stationed in Jammu and Kashmir are not entitled to be registered in the electoral rolls of the state.

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