3 min read.Updated: 25 Jun 2021, 05:38 AM ISTLivemint
This was the first all-party meet with key leaders from Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019
After meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the "delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected government". He said the Centre's priority was to strengthen grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said today’s meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir was an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive J&K, where all-round growth was furthered.
"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," the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.
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. pic.twitter.com/AEyVGQ1NGy
This was the first all-party meet with key leaders from Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
After meeting with the leaders, the Prime Minister said: "Our democracy’s biggest strength is the ability to sit across a table and exchange views. I told the leaders of J&K that it is the people, specially the youth who have to provide political leadership to J&K, and ensure their aspirations are duly fulfilled."
Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Centre was committed to ensure all round development of J&K. He said the future of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections were important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament.
"Today’s meeting on Jammu and Kashmir was conducted in a very cordial environment. Everyone expressed their commitment to democracy and the constitution. It was stressed to strengthen the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir," Shah said.
Among the key 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, Peoples Conference's Sajad Gani Lone and J-K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari. BJP's Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh, and Kavinder Gupta were also present in the meeting besides CPI(M)'s M Y Tarigami and National Panthers Party's Prof Bheem Singh.
Sharing the details of what happened in the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the leaders put 5 demands in the meeting — grant statehood, conduct Assembly elections, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, all political detainees should be released and the domicile rules.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary also attended the high-profile meeting.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said that she told Prime Minister Modi that people of Jammu and Kashmir did not accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated "unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally".
Speaking to media persons after the three and half an hour long meeting, Mufti said, "People of Jammu and Kashmir are in a lot of difficulties after August 5, 2019. They are angry, upset and emotionally shattered. They feel humiliated. I told Prime Minister that people of Jammu and Kashmir do not accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally."
Omar Abdullah said that his party did not accept the decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and will fight against it in the court. "As it was an open discussion, we have put our views openly. We told Prime Minister that we don't stand with what was done on August 5, 2019. We're not ready to accept it. But we won't take the law into our hands. We will fight this in court, and hope that we'll get justice there," he said.
"We also told Prime Minister that there's been a breach of trust between the state and Centre. It's the Centre's duty to restore it, and for that whatever Prime Minister thinks best, he should do. The Prime Minister listened to us in a good and peaceful environment. We told him that it is important to reverse the decisions that were taken and are not in favour of Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
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