Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffar Hussain Baig, one of the leaders who attended PM Modi’s J&K all-party meeting on Thursday, in an exclusive conversation with India TV gave insights of the meeting, spoke about the conduct of PDP chief and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti among other issues.
Muzaffar Hussain Baig said that talks with the Prime Minister were held in a good atmosphere adding that he noted down all the important issues which were raised during the meeting.
If political parties with sincerity follow the issues they raised during the meeting then surely things will move forward, Muzaffar Baig said.
Speaking on the conduct of two former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — during the meeting with PM Modi, Muzaffar Baig said that Omar Abdullah did not speak or raised any issue since his father Farooq Abdullah represented his party, however, there was disparity on the conduct of Mehbooba Mufti during and after the meeting when she addressed media.
“There was indeed a difference in Mehbooba Mufti’s tone, when she spoke about Pakistan, at the meeting and while addressing reporters outside,” Muzaffar Baig said.
“Mehbooba Mufti also urged the government to free political prisoners,” he added.
On Thursday, both National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti post-meeting with PM Modi while addressing individual pressers had raised the issue of Article 370, objecting to the manner in which it was scrapped.
Responding to whether some J&K leaders whose conduct during and after the meeting were different since they were addressing their respective constituencies, Muzaffar Baig said that it is now up to the people whether they would go after leaders sloganeering or the substance which they will put in front of them.
In entirety, Muzaffar Baig said, “we follow the ‘Playing to the gallery’ formula.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told a group of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that assembly elections there will be held after the completion of the ongoing delimitation exercise.
During the three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, almost all the 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir demanded that its statehood, which was removed in August 2019, should be restored, Baig added.
The main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process and the prime minister said that the government was fully committed to it.
This was the first interaction between the central leadership and the mainstream parties since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
PM Modi stressed that holding assembly elections, just like the successful conduct of the District Development Council polls, is a priority and that the polls can happen soon after the delimitation exercise, the sources said, adding that by and large most participants expressed willingness for it.
The prime minister stressed that an atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir and he wanted to remove ‘Dilli ki Duri as well as ‘Dil Ki Duri’ (distance from Delhi as well as distance of heart).