“Today’s meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir is an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive J&K, where all-round growth is furthered,” Prime Minister said after the meeting.
“Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that gives strength to J&K’s development trajectory,” Modi tweeted.
During the three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, PM Modi heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants. He expressed happiness that all of them shared their honest views. It was an open discussion that revolved around building a better future for Kashmir, news agency ANI reported.
Modi said that there would be political differences, but everyone should work in national interest so that people of J&K benefit. He stressed that atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all.
“The talks were held in a good atmosphere today. The Prime Minister heard issues of all leaders. He said the election process will begin when delimitation process is over,” J&K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari said.
Amit Shah said the meeting was conducted in a very cordial environment and everyone expressed their commitment to democracy and the constitution.
“We are committed to ensure all round development of J&K. The future of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament,” the union home minister said in a twitter post.
In his first big outreach after the revocation of Article 370, PM Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with 14 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.
The four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state who participated in the discussions were Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
“The home minister said he is committed to granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir,” Ghulam Nabi Azad, who represented the Congress party at the meeting, said.
“Almost 80 per cent of parties spoke on Article 370, but the matter is sub judice in court. Our demands included full-fledged statehood soon, elections to restore democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, all political detainees to be released and land and employment guarantee,” the Congress leader said after the meeting.
Omar Abdullah, vice president of the National Conference, said: “We told the Prime Minister that we don’t stand with what was done on August 5, 2019. We are not ready to accept it. But we will not take law into hands. We will fight this in court. We also told PM that there has been breach of trust between State and Centre. It’s Centre’s duty to restore it.”
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said the people are angry, upset and emotionally shattered after the removal of Article 370.
“People are in a lot of difficulties after Article 370 was abolished. They feel humiliated. I told PM that people of J&K don’t accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally,” she said.
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