PaK born woman ‘permanently excluded’ from DDC polls on citizenship grounds, re-polling ordered

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Kupwara: After keeping the counting process in limbo for nearly two months over antecedents of a PaK born female candidate contesting DDC elections from Drugmulla constituency, State Election Commission has finally announced nullification of the then held elections even as dropping the name of candidate in question permanently from electoral rolls.

State Election Commissioner in an order, of which a copy lies with GNS, maintains that a complaint was received by the polling authorities before the counting of votes schedule on 22-12-2020 against one Soomia Sadaf, contesting elections independently for DDC Constituency Drugmulla, alleging that she is not a bonafide Indian citizen.

“The complaint mentioned that she is a resident of Muzaffarabad, PaK and an illegal entrant into the country and therefore is not a citizen of India”, it states.

“On 21-12-2020, prior to the scheduled counting of votes for the Constituency (Drugmulla), Electoral Registration Officer (ERO), Panchayat (District Panchayat Officer) issued an order, deleting ab-intio name of Soomia Sadaf from Panchayat Electoral Rolls, Halqa Batergam.”

After deletion of the name from electoral rolls, DPEO/DC Kupwara sought further directions from Election Commission to which the latter responded by asking DPEO to defer the counting of votes besides seeking a status report from DC Kupwara as to know if any appeal was filed by the candidate against the ERO’s order on deleting her name from Panchayat Electoral Rolls, the order states.

The District Panchayat Election Officer (DC Kupwara) vide his communication no. DEOK/2021/2022-2023 Dated 24-02-2021, as per the order, confirmed that no appeal has been filed by the candidate.

The State Election Commission in exercise to the powers conferred under section 36 of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 and subject to outcome of any writ petition pending before the Hon’ble High Court has thus declared the polling to the DDC constituency Drugmulla as void, cancelling the candidature of Soomia Sadaf ab-intio, ordering re-poll and redrawing of list of contesting candidates in the Constituency (excluding Mst. Soomia Sadaf).

“The re-poll of the Constituency shall be conducted under the applicable rules and guidelines on a date to be notified by the Election Authority through a separate order”, it reads further. (GNS)


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