New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 24 meeting with the mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, the question lies on whether it will give momentum to the political process in the Union Territory.
The all-party meet will be the first political engagement since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 when the Centre had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
As per sources, key issues like delimitation and assembly elections are likely to be discussed that may pave way for the political processes in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is pertinent to note that the Delimitation Commission is believed to complete its exercise in the next four or five months.
The speculations are also rife about statehood being discussed on the table. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said in February this year that statehood will be restored to J-K at an appropriate time.
Congress’ GA Mir, one of the 14 leaders who have been invited, also said on Tuesday (June 22) that the party will keep ‘restoration of full statehood’ on priority number one irrespective of the agenda of the meeting.
“We will try to convince him (PM Narendra Modi) to restore full statehood…. All parties who are taking part in the meeting are facing huge public pressure for restoration of statehood,” Mir said.
On the other hand, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), also known as the Gupkar Alliance, are deliberating upon the possibilities of the restoration of Article 370 and 35-A. While announcing that they have accepted the invite, they said that peace in the region cannot be restored without undoing the ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’ act of revocation of the special status.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, part of the Gupkar Alliance, said, “The agenda of the alliance, for which this alliance has been formed, what has been snatched away from us, we will talk on that, that it was a mistake and it was illegal and unconstitutional, without restoring which the issue of J-K (cannot be resolved) and the situation in J-K (cannot improve) and peace in the whole region cannot be restored.”
This is to be noted that the meeting comes over six months after Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the District Development Council (DDC) elections, the first major polls held in the Union territory since the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 received the assent of the President.
Amit Shah along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and other top officials are also expected to attend the meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)