Election Commission of India
Election Commission of IndiaIANS

To facilitate Kashmiri migrants, residing in Delhi, to cast their votes in person on the polling days during Lok Sabha elections on the seats across Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has established special polling booths for the community at different locations in the capital.

These booths have been established at  following locations:

  • Kashmir Resident Commission, 5 PR Road New Delhi.
  • Kashmir Kissan Ghar BR-2 Shalimar Bagh Delhi.
  • Arwachin International Public School Pocket F Dilshad Garden, Delhi.
  • GGSSS Paprawat Najafgarh, Delhi.

According to the official spokesperson of the J&K government, " The Election Commission of India, in a first, has instructed for providing free of cost to and fro transportation facility for the Kashmiri migrants eligible to cast their ballot in these special booths".

The transport service will be provided to KMs from the camps to their respective polling stations and back to camps.

With an aim to extend requisite support and help to the Kashmiri migrant voters, the office of AERO/ARO, Migrants, New Delhi, is efficiently functioning during working hours at Pota Cabin 01 at JK House 5-Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi. The office has also established a help desk that has supported numerous stakeholders in filing offline/online Form-M, Form 12-C, and other requisite documents.

An awareness campaign already started in Delhi for migrant voters

Besides, a series of camps and meetings have been organized to raise mass awareness at various places to increase the percentage of Kashmiri migrant voters in the capital.

The Booth Level Officers (BLOs) are also visiting door to door to educate and help the migrant voters. These camps, organized at various locations in Delhi and NCR, received tremendous response resulting in a notable increase in enrollment of voters through Form- M and Form 12-C, so far, as compared to the last parliamentary Lok Sabha election.

As per the data given by the AERO/ARO office, about 169 voters have been registered besides receiving 65 Form M and 4 Form 12 C for the Baramulla PC, 480 voters have been registered besides receiving 183 Form-M and 8 Form 12-C for the Srinagar PC while 95 voters have been registered besides receiving 40 Form M for the Anantnag PC, till date.

The Kashmiri migrants are evincing keen interest to participate in the upcoming elections and it is expected that there shall be a high voter turnout during these Lok Sabha seats.

CEC Rajiv Kumar
The Election Commission announced Karnataka assembly polls date on Wednesday, March 29ANI

Combersom Form-M already abolished

As reported earlier in a major decision to facilitate voting by Kashmiri migrants in the ongoing general elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on April 12 this year has abolished the cumbersome procedure of filling Form-M for the displaced people from the Valley who are residing in Jammu and Udhampur.

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

The decision was taken by the ECI after a meeting on April 12, 2024  chaired by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

Various representations were received from several Kashmiri Migrant groups projecting the difficulties they face in filling the Form-M every election which brings a lot of hassle to them in exercising their right to franchise.

The Form-M procedure subjects these voters to additional bureaucratic hurdles compared to other voters and also the process of filling out the Form-M is often complex and cumbersome, requiring specific documentation, proof of migration status, and attestation by a gazetted officer.