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Enthused by scrapping of M-forms, KP migrants gear up for polling in Jagti camp

01:22 AM May 11, 2024 IST | SHUCHISMITA
enthused by scrapping of m forms  kp migrants gear up for polling in jagti camp
Wikimedia Commons/ Al Jazeera English
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Jammu, May 10: As the polling dates are drawing nearer, the Kashmiri Pandit (KP) migrants at Jagti camp are gearing up to exercise their right of franchise, rejuvenating hopes for an improved voter-turnout.

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The decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to scrap the cumbersome procedure of filling Form-M, in particular, has enthused them.
“There was a perception that KP migrants usually showed apathy towards this democratic exercise. Poor voter turnout would often be described as a result of this apathy. To some extent, this may be true as well. However, the majority of KP migrants never showed indifference to the election process. But the cumbersome process definitely discouraged them and that would explain the reason behind many skipping their vital right,” Piarey Lal Pandita states.

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Moti Lal Padroo, endorsing his views, asserts, “This had been our major concern. Obviously, ECI’s decision has stirred up youth and elders alike. There may be some other good reasons as well. Nevertheless, they are keen to participate wholeheartedly in the voting process this time.”

Responding positively to the demand of the migrant community, the ECI on April 12 had announced to abolish the cumbersome procedure of filling Form-M for the displaced people from valley who are residing in Jammu and Udhampur.

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Additionally, for the migrants residing outside Jammu and Udhampur (who will continue to submit Form M), ECI had authorized the self-attestation of the certificate appended with Form-M, thus removing the hassle of getting this certificate attested by the Gazetted Officer.

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“Enthusiasm is palpable among the migrants, who are registered voters of three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir (Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri), coming to us for enquiries, though we are political activists and not the officials concerned. We provide them with requisite information and try to guide them to approach the concerned authorities,” Padroo says.

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“We hope that this keenness will find a reflection on the polling days as well. Voters for Srinagar parliamentary constituency, which is going to polls on May 13, are all set to exercise their right, indicating the possibility of a good voter turnout. For political parties, it is important that their supporters reach polling booths to cast votes so all efforts are focussed on motivating them,” Pandita too echoes Padroo’s viewpoint.

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The Commission has set up 22 special polling stations at all the migrants’ zones in Jammu and Udhampur. There will be 21 polling stations in Jammu, including four set up at Jagti camp and one in Udhampur. Besides, four special polling stations have been set up in Delhi. In Jammu, two auxiliary polling stations too have been set up.

“One may vote for any party yet the vote should not be wasted. We’ll cast our votes and we’re motivating other inmates also to exercise their right of franchise on the due date,” Anjali Suri, Sushma Pandita and Kuldeep Raj assert.

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