Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s all-part meeting with top leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference (NC) leader Devender Rana on Wednesday said Farooq Abdullah will “represent the people the union territory with his wisdom.”
“Dialogue and inclusiveness is the vital essence of democracy. We are always ready for a dialogue that will take Jammu and Kashmir out of the morass. The entire team of Jammu unit of National Conference which is here along with me has reposed faith in Dr Farooq Abdullah,” the National Confrence’s provincial president for Jammu Devender Singh Rana told mediapersons here.
“He is the tallest leader in Jammu and Kashmir. He has assured us that he will represent us and the people of Jammu and Kashmir with his wisdom. Pluralistic Jammu has its own aspirations and desires. And, we are for singular Jammu and Kashmir,” Rana said.
The Gupkar Alliance, which includes mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, has accepted the invitation to the Thursday’s all-party meeting to be chaired by the Prime Minister.
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.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti are among those invited for the meeting.
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has reached out to 14 leaders including Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and GA Mir; NC’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, and National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh; Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary are also expected to attend the meeting.
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 to be discussed at the all-party meeting.
Sources familiar with developments told ANI the move to reach out to political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir has sent a very positive message especially in the valley and it is expected to give momentum to the political process in a big way and talks can pave way for positive developments.
Jammu Kashmir witnessed District Development Council last year and also panchayat elections.
Home Minister Amit Shah had said in February this year in Lok Sabha that statehood will be restored to J-K at an appropriate time.
Sources indicate that the Centre would be willing to discuss all issues on the table including the statehood.
Although People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has agreed to attend the meeting, its leaders especially Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that they will ask New Delhi to restore Article 370 and 35 A. (ANI)