Issue Brief on “Electoral Demographic Change: The unabated onslaught on Kashmiri identity”

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The ongoing onslaught on Kashmiri identity and the desire to disempower Muslim population of Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) has led Modi government to decide to allow non Kashmiri Indians to participate in upcoming local legislative polls expected to be held later this year by registering them as voters thereby changing the electoral composition of the Muslim majority state.

The announcement was made by the Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar who said that Jammu and Kashmir would get additional 2.5 million voters that would include outsiders (security forces stationed in Kashmir and people from other parts of India working in Kashmir) after the special summary revision of electoral rolls are being held for the first time following the abrogation of Article 370 in August  2019.[1]

It goes without saying that the announcement caused much uproar and drew strong condemnation. The entire Kashmiri leadership, irrespective of their ideology, unanimously denounced any such move by the Indian government. Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah while condemning the move expressed his apprehensions saying “fallout of voting rights to non-J&K residents will be that tomorrow’s assembly will be in the hands of outsiders…Tomorrow the number may go up to 50 lakh or 1 crore. J&K’s identity is facing a direct assault.[2]

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