Samba: India’s minister for Textiles, Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Saturday said that members of the Gupkar alliance never gave the right to vote to refugees from Pakistan.

“The Gupkar gang has never given the right to vote to any refugees from Pakistan. But it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who realised that the people who chose to come to India leaving Pakistan should be given this right,” news agency ANI quoted Irani as saying while addressing a public gathering in Ghagwal area of JK’s Samba district.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said: “The Gupkar gang did not fight to secure the right of vote to you all but are only coming forward now when they need your votes.”

“After years of struggle, the public here has got the chance to vote in local body elections to give a voice to their aspirations. I’m here to ask for your vote so that you can secure the future of your families,” the report quoted her further saying.

The mainstream parties, including the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) in the month of October and are fighting the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections together.

After the GoI stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, revoked its statehood and split the erstwhile state into two Union Territories, the refugees from Pakistan cast their votes first time in recent local body elections this year.

 

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