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Non-Local Candidate Files Nomination in IIOJK Following Article 370 Repeal

Srinagar, In a significant development following the illegal revocation of Article 370, a resident of Indian Punjab has filed his nomination papers for a parliamentary seat in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), becoming the first non-local to contest Lok Sabha elections in the territory since the revocation in August 2019.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Baldev Kumar, a resident of Mohali in Punjab, submitted his nomination papers from the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency as an independent candidate. What makes this nomination notable is that Kumar does not hold an IIOJK domicile certificate, yet he is among the 25 candidates running for the seat. The Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency is set to go to the polls on May 7.

This event reflects the broader implications of the Modi government’s August 2019 action to revoke Article 370, which aimed to strip the unique identity of Kashmiris and alter the demography of IIOJK by allowing non-locals to settle in the territory. Allowing a non-local without a domicile certificate to contest elections in IIOJK underscores these demographic and political changes.

Critics and local leaders view this move as part of a larger strategy to change the political landscape of IIOJK and dilute the region’s indigenous identity. The inclusion of non-local candidates in electoral politics raises concerns about the Modi government’s intentions and the potential impact on the traditional rights and privileges of the local population.

The forthcoming Lok Sabha elections will serve as a crucial test for the new political dynamics in IIOJK following the revocation of Article 370, with the outcome likely to influence the region’s future trajectory.

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