The high-profile all-party meet called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir concluded after around three and a half hours. The meeting was held at Prime Minister’s official residence in New Delhi on Thursday.
The meeting began at around 3 pm and was attended by 14 prominent leaders from the union territory. This was 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.
The main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process. As per sources, the PM said that the Centre is fully committed to the democratic process in J&K. He stressed that holding assembly elections just like the successful conduct of DDC elections is a priority.
The sources added that PM Modi patiently heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants. He expressed happiness that all participants shared their frank and honest views. It was an open discussion that revolved around building a better future for Kashmir. It was also discussed that elections can happen soon after delimitation and by and large most participants expressed willingness for it.
It is also being said that the PM expressed happiness on the commitment to Constitution & Democracy espoused by all participants, and emphasised the need to strengthen democracy at the grassroots & work together with the people of J&K to ensure their upliftment.
“The PM asked all to participate in the delimitation process. We have been assured that this is the roadmap towards elections. PM also said that we are committed to the restoration of statehood,” J&K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari told reporters after the meeting.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The Home Minister said the government is committed to granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. All leaders demanded full-fledged statehood.”
As per the sources, PM Modi said that when people experience corruption-free governance, it inspires trust among the people and people also extend their co-operation to the administration and this is visible in J&K today. He said that there would be political differences but everyone should work in national interest so that the people of J&K benefit.
Among the leaders who are participated in the meeting were 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. Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary also attended the meeting.