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Information on Electoral Bonds will be disclosed on time: CEC

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Jammu, March 13: India’s Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, on Wednesday said that following the Supreme Court’s order, the SBI has provided details to the Election Commission about the Electoral Bonds issued by the bank.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the Supreme Court had given the SBI time up to March 12 to provide data regarding the electoral bonds issued by it.

“We have received the data on time. I will go back and study the data and give details about it in time,” he said.

The Election Commission also reaffirmed its commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process in Jammu and Kashmir.

The CEC underscored the paramount demand voiced by political parties: the assurance of free and fair elections. He said the political representatives emphasised the importance of fairness, calling for an electoral process devoid of discrimination in security provisions and a level playing field for all candidates.

Addressing the demographic landscape, he noted a positive indicator with 2,886 voters aged over 100 years. The focus, however, remains on youth participation, with 86.9 lakh eligible voters in the region and a concerted effort to encourage their involvement, he said.

He said that the J&K voters above 85 years of age will, for the first time, be able to vote at home if they so desire.

Technological advancements are set to play a pivotal role in facilitating the electoral process, he said, adding that stringent measures will be in place to curb illegal activities, including intensified vigilance along international and internal borders.

Asked why Harsh Dev Singh of the Panthers Party was not allowed to meet the poll panel team in Srinagar and Jammu, the CEC said: “There is a dispute regarding the JK Panthers Party. We met people of national and regional parties in J&K, but the party you referred to is under dispute.”

On whether government officials, who have obtained domicile certificates in J&K but are not permanent residents here, can cast their vote, he said: “We have a uniform system for registration of voters in the country. If these people have a temporary residence here, they can get registered as voters, but they will have to cancel their registration at the place of their permanent residence.”

To a question about service voters, he said that all those serving the army or the CAPFs who belong to J&K but are serving outside, are service voters and have been given the right to vote through postal ballots.

“There were 77,503 service voters in 2019. In 2022, there were 72,738 and in 2024, there are 75,876 service voters in J&K,” he said.

The CEC said all the DMs and SPs have been told that it is their duty to ensure fair and unbiased polls in their areas of responsibility.

“Any dereliction in this regard will attract severe action from the Commission,” he said.

IANS

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