J&K parties discuss key issues ahead of meeting with PM Modi
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties for a high-level meeting in Delhi, top politicians of the union territory have begun discussions over the development. As per media reports, the Centre has extended an invitation to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and other leading political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir for a meeting with the prime minister on June 24.
Significantly, this will be the first meeting between PM Modi and Jammu and Kashmir’s political leaders since the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35Ain August 2019.
Media reports have stated that the meeting will focus on the agenda of holding assembly elections in the union territory and easing restrictions on the internet among other key issues.
Ahead of interaction with the prime minister, leaders from Mufti led-Peoples Democratic Party and Abdullah led-National Conference held several rounds of meetings to discuss the invitation.
While PDP chief Mufti is undecided over her participation in the all-party meeting with PM Modi, other members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) have expressed their willingness to join the discussion. Reportedly, the Gupkar alliance is scheduled to meet in a few days to finalisekey agendas for the dialogue with the PM.
Speaking to the media, J&K Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said that Delhi’s invitation to political parties of the union territory is a welcome development.National Panthers Party leader Harsh Dev Singh also assured his party’s participation in the meeting.
From Congress, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has been invited to put forthhis party’s views during the discussion. Responding to the invitation, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala reiterated his party’s call for full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding assembly elections in the region.
This development has come days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a high-level security meeting with top officials from Jammu and Kashmir in the national capital with the aim of reviewing the progress of development projects in the Union Territory. The meeting was attended by NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh, and CRPF Director-General Kuldeep Singh, among other senior officials.
After the meeting, the home minister tweeted that the overall development and welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the top priority of the Modi government.
In March, the Delimitation Commission set up by the Centre to redraw assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and four northeastern states received a one-year extension to complete the assigned task.