It appears that differences have emerged in the Gupkar alliance as Jammu and Kashmir Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said that no other party except Congress made a strong presentation by putting all the points at an all-party meeting called by Prime Minister with leaders of the union territory, adding that “full statehood is what we are aiming.”
“On June 24, Prime Minister called a meeting with 14 leaders of Jammu and Kashmir. Unfortunately, they (the central government) do not reveal any agenda. But the Congress Party apprised the Prime Minister of the situation in Kashmir from August 5, 2019, till today. We spoke about how the self-made decision of the Centre impacted Jammu and Kashmir. The way Congress party made a presentation in the meeting with an agenda, preparation and homework, none of the other parties came to meeting had such thought process and preparation,” Mr Mir said while briefing media.
He further emphasised the Congress party’s stand is to restore the statehood to Jammu and Kashmir with a Constitutional guarantee.
“We wanted to discuss the restoration of the status quo before August 5, in Jammu and Kashmir. We demand statehood back for Jammu and Kashmir with constitutional guarantee and security of jobs and land security. But there was no point as the Government of India has made up its mind. Matter to be handled through Judiciary. Right now, full statehood is what we are aiming.”
The Congress leader’s statement comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to the leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that the Union government favours holding assembly elections and restoring its statehood once the delimitation exercise is over.
“The Congress Party in the all-party meeting said elections should be conducted after statehood. Home Minister assured us of statehood after the demilitation exercise which will increase seven seats in Jammu and Kashmir. We demand the process to be held in a sequence where first delimitation, then statehood and after that, hold elections to form government in Jammu and Kashmir,” added Mr Mir.
On June 24, Prime Minister Modi chaired the all-party meeting which 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.
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 MY 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.
Earlier in March this year, the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, which was set up in March 2020 to redraw the parliamentary and assemblies constituencies, got a one-year extension from the Central government.
The delimitation panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, was set up only for one year. Later, the panel got A gazette notification was issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on March 3, 2021, in this regard.