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ECI notifies Scheme for Kashmir Migrants to vote during LS Elections 2024

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JAMMU: Continuing the past practice of facilitating the Kashmiri Migrant to vote through Postal ballots and Special Polling Stations set at Jammu, Udhampur, and New Delhi, the Election Commission of India announced a comprehensive scheme for the Kashmiri Migrants.

The scheme is meant for all those electors of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar, and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency in the Kashmir valley of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir who had migrated because of compelling circumstances and have been temporarily residing in various places outside their place of ordinary residence.

The Election Commission has issued two notifications categorizing the Kashmiri Migrants as the ‘specified’ and ‘notified’ elector. The first notification has been issued under the powers vested in the Commission under Article 324 of the Constitution read along with Section 25 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which specifies the migrant electors of Kashmir Valley who are enrolled in any of the Parliamentary Constituencies of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri, but residing outside their place of ordinary residence, (other than those who opt for a postal ballot under clause (c) of Section 60 the Representation of the People Act, 1951) as the class of persons for whom special polling stations shall be provided outside the territorial limits of the Parliamentary Constituencies mentioned above during the General Election to the House of the People for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, to be held in 2024.

The other Notification similarly has been issued under Section 60(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, notifying the aforesaid migrant electors of Kashmir valley enrolled in any of the Parliamentary Constituencies of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar, and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri, who are residing outside their place of ordinary residence, (other than those who opt to vote in person at special polling stations), as the class of persons to give their votes by postal ballots.

Additionally, the Commission has also notified four Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) to assist the Returning Officers of these three Parliamentary Constituencies in the work concerning the ‘Specified’ and ‘Notified’ class of electors. These four AROs are (1) Assistant Commissioner, Relief (Migrant), Jammu, (2) Assistant Commissioner, Panchayat, Udhampur (3) Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Delhi and (4) Deputy Secretary, in the office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi.

Functionally, the Assistant Commissioner, Relief (Migrant), Jammu in the Office of Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, Jammu is made responsible for the receipt of applications from the electors who wish to vote at the special polling stations at Jammu. He shall also be the ARO responsible for the issuance of a Postal Ballot to all those who opt for the same.

Likewise, the Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning & Marketing, Delhi and Deputy Secretary, office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi, are appointed as the ARO for the receipt of applications, conduct of poll, etc., at the special polling station(s) to be provided in Delhi. Collector, Northern Railways, Udhampur is appointed as ARO in respect of the special polling station(s) at Udhampur.

For the General Elections to Lok Sabha – 2024, the Election Commission has advised the migrant voters to send their forms, Form M for voting in person at any of the ‘Special Polling Stations’ or Form 12 C for using the postal ballot to the concerned Assistant Returning Officers to reach them on or 10 days before the date of poll separately for each phase of the polling.

Kashmiri migrant voters, who are residing at various relief camps in Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur and who opt to cast their votes in person through Electronic Voting Machines at the forthcoming General Elections to the Lok Sabha, 2024 can do so at any one of the polling stations nominated for the purpose.

 


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