As many as 14 prominent leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to attend the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
This is the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Among the leaders who are scheduled to participate in the meeting are Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and GA Mir; National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari; BJP’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta; CPI(M)’s M Y Tarigami; National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh; and Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.
Political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and BJP leaders Ravinder Raina and Kavinder Gupta arrived in New Delhi to attend the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It is learnt from reliable sources that no fixed agenda has been set for the meeting and a freewheeling discussion is expected on June 24.
However, delimitation, statehood and assembly elections are expected to remain key issues for discussion at the all-party meeting.
Although the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has agreed to attend the meeting, its leaders especially the Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that they will ask New Delhi to restore Article 370 and 35 A.
Earlier today, ahead of the meeting with the Prime Minister, Apni Party chief Syed Altaf Bukhari welcomed the all-party meet with Prime Minister Modi and said, “I look at it as a positive development. The Prime Minister had started a process on March 14, 2020, when a delegation of the Apni Party met him and now he has called an all-party meeting. It is a welcome step.”
Meanwhile, a day before the all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday held virtual discussions with its representatives in Jammu and Kashmir and deputy commissioners regarding the delimitation of the 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 was notified by the government on August 9, 2019, which paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.
The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.