Fourteen political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir have been invited to a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 24 June, officials were quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Saturday, 19 June.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla called up the leaders to invite them for the meeting. Among those who have been invited include former chief ministers of the erstwhile state – National Conference's Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The others invited include Congress' Tara Chand and GA Mir, CPI(M)'s Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, People's Conference leaders Sajjad Lone and Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari, Panthers Party's Bhim Singh, and BJP leaders Nirmal Singh, Kavinder Gupta and Ravinder Raina.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also expected to be present during the meeting.
Discussion on Delimitation Likely
This would be the first such meeting since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories was announced in August 2019.
The ‘political scenario’ in the Union Territory and the future course of action are likely to be discussed, with a discussion on the delimitation exercise also expected to come up.
The political parties have said in the recent past that they are willing to discuss the process of redrawing constituencies in the Union Territory and also regarding the revocation of the erstwhile state's special status.
A discussion on the delimitation exercise is being touted as the first towards conducting Assembly elections.
A meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of PDP will be held on Sunday where the participation in the all-party meeting is likely to be discussed. Discussions will also be held among National Conference leaders regarding the meeting and a meeting of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is likely to be held before 24 June.
‘Never Closed Doors For Meaningful Engagement’
CPI(M) leader and spokesperson of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) M Y Tarigami had earlier told PTI, "We have never closed our doors for meaningful engagement with the Centre. Though I have no information about any dialogue, if it happens, it will be welcomed."
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Bukhari had said, "I welcome, if and when, the talks take place. This vindicates our position of March 2020 when we had made it clear that dialogue is the only mechanism to restore democracy and statehood for Jammu and Kashmir. Better late than never as the solution to all our problems lies with New Delhi and nowhere else."
“We (NC) have not changed our stance... but the party has always been open to dialogue,” NC spokesperson Imran Nabi had told Hindustan Times.
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