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Allow displaced people from PaK to vote for JK Assembly

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Jammu: An outfit claiming to represent people displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has urged the Election Commission to allow the community to elect their representatives to eight of the 24 Assembly seats designated for the area falling under PaK which are kept vacant.
Rajiv Chuni, chairman of SOS International, has submitted a representation to the Chief Election Commissioner in New Delhi with regard to “defreezing” the eight seats in the assembly, a spokesman of the outfit said.
He said the representation has also been forwarded to the Centre, state government and Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir.
The displaced persons from PaK who have a population of 13 lakh are given shelter at various places in the country. However, they are facing apathy of government because they don’t have political reservation,” Chuni said, demanding that they should be allowed to vote to elect MLAs of constituencies under PaK.
“We have appealed to the EC to look into this and take a decision accordingly,” he stated.
By not holding elections for a particular constituency and keeping it vacant, we are not only depriving the people of their rights but also failing to discharge lawful duties as envisaged under ‘The Representative of People Act’ and other analogous applicable laws, he added.
Of the 111 seats in the J-K Assembly , 24 seats are designated for the territorial constituencies of the state that are in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
These seats remain officially vacant as per section 48 of the state constitution. These seats are not taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly, especially for deciding quorum and voting majorities for legislation and government formation, according to the assembly website.

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