1.13 lakh Kashmiri Pandit migrants can vote in Kashmir’s three Lok Sabha seats

Kashmiri Pandit migrant voters can vote in special booths or through postal ballot. In the 2019 election, 86% of them polled for the BJP

April 03, 2024 04:06 am | Updated 04:06 am IST - SRINAGAR

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, around 99,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits had registered as voters. The BJP garnered had 86% votes of their votes.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, around 99,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits had registered as voters. The BJP garnered had 86% votes of their votes. | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Around 14,000 new Kashmiri Pandit migrant voters have registered for the three Lok Sabha seats in the valley, taking the total figure to 1.13 lakh.

According to the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, more than 1.13 lakh Kashmiri migrants can now vote in the three seats.

“It is our appeal to all migrant voters to take part in voting in large numbers and exercise their democratic right. We have arranged facilities for them. Authorised zonal officers and camp commandants will distribute and attest M-forms on the spot,” relief and rehabilitation commissioner Arvind Karwani said.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, around 99,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits had registered as voters. The BJP garnered had 86% votes of their votes.

Migrant Pandits are those who left the Kashmir valley when mass militancy broke out in the 1990s. According to the J&K government figures, 60,000 families migrated in the wake of militant violence in Kashmir, which included 40,142 Hindu families, 2,684 Muslim and 1,730 Sikh families.

The Relief and Rehabilitation Department has been organising special awareness camps for Kashmiri migrants, especially Pandits, at different places of Jammu and Udhampur, regarding the voting scheme that allows them to cast their votes from different locations outside the Kashmir valley.

“Migrant voters can vote in two ways. First, they can do so by filling up an M-form and vote in the special polling booths set up for them. The second option is voting through postal ballots for which they will have to fill up Form-12C. They can get a ballot from the assistant returning officer (ARO) and cast their vote,” Mr. Karwani.

Twenty-six polling stations – 21 in Jammu, four in Delhi and one in Udhampur – have been set up for Kashmiri Pandit migrant voters. Special awareness drives are being held at four migrant camps and non-camp areas with concentration of Kashmir migrants in Jammu and Delhi.

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