Visuals from PM Modi’s all party meeting at Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi. (Photo/ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday said that his government is fully committed to the “democratic process” in the region and holding the assembly elections is a priority, sources said.
During a three-and-a-half-hour long meeting with 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister patiently heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants.
“PM said that we are fully committed to the democratic process in J&K. He stressed that holding assembly elections just like the successful conduct of DDC (District Development Council) elections is a priority,” sources said.
This was the first meeting between the Centre with the political leaders of the region after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
PM Modi expressed happiness that all participants shared their frank and honest views.
“It was an open discussion which revolved around building a better future for Kashmir. The main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process,” sources said.
According to sources, discussions were focused on holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir soon after delimitation process is completed, to which most participants expressed their willingness.
The Prime Minister, sources added, emphasised on the need to strengthen democracy at the grassroots and work together with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure their upliftment.
Leaders of Gupkar alliance including National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti also attended the crucial meeting.
PM Modi expressed happiness on the commitment to the Constitution and democracy espoused by all participants. He said that even one death in Jammu and Kashmir is painful and it is ‘our collective duty to protect our younger generation’.
Stressing on the need to provide opportunities to the youth of the Union Territory, the Prime Minister said that younger generation of the region will give back lots to the country.
The developmental work with implementation of many pro-people initiatives, carried out over the last two years in Jammu and Kashmir, was discussed in detail in the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence.
PM Modi expressed satisfaction with the acceleration of development in the Union Territory and said that ‘it is creating new hope and aspirations among the people’.
“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 Jammu and Kashmir today,” the Prime Minister said, according to sources.
The Prime Minister said that there would be political differences but everyone should work in national interest for the benefit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He underlined that an atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all sections of society in the region.
PM Modi said that he wants to remove ‘Dilli ki Duri as well as Dil Ki Duri’.
Among the leaders who 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.