Avny Lavasa (in red). Photo: Twitter/@AvnyLavasa

New Delhi: The Jammu administration has withdrawn its earlier order authorising tehsildars (revenue officials) to issue certificates of residence to those residing in the winter capital for more than a year to enable their registration as voters.

Though no reason was specified for the withdrawal of the order, the step followed an outrage by almost all prominent political parties in Jammu and Kashmir except the BJP.

“The order stands withdrawn,” a senior official told PTI on Thursday.

On Tuesday, district election officer and deputy commissioner of Jammu Avny Lavasa issued the order on electoral rolls after taking serious note of some eligible voters facing hardships in registration as voters due to the non-availability of required documents.

The Special Summary Revision of electoral rolls has been started in the Union Territory with effect from September 15 for registration of new voters, deletion, correction, and transposition of voters who have migrated or died since the last summary revision.

Reacting to the development, senior CPI(M) leader and Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) spokesperson M.Y. Tarigami questioned the issuance of such an order in the first place. “Firstly, it is surprising that such an unwarranted order was issued. If the order is revoked, a copy should be immediately shared with the public,” the PAGD leader told PTI.

He said the government machinery must be careful about the sensitivities of the electoral process and “there should be no attempt whatsoever to manipulate this legitimate democratic process”.

The PAGD, headed by National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, had on Saturday announced the formation of a 14-member committee to chalk out a strategy on the issue of any attempt at manipulation and inclusion of non-locals in the revised electoral rolls.

The panel has members from the five PAGD constituents and several other political parties such as the Congress, the Shiv Sena, the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) and the Dogra Sadar Sabha (DSS).

J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool Wani called the order the BJP’s game plan to dilute the power of local voters as it was feeling the pulse of local residents in view of widespread resentment due to policy decisions, rise in prices of essential commodities and record unemployment.

This story was originally published in thewire.in . Read the full story here