The meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s official residence, 7 Kalyan Marg in New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on June 24 chairing a meeting of political leaders from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, first such and crucial step aimed at resuming the political process in the UT – 22 months after the abrogation of Article 370 granting special status to the erstwhile state.
This meeting might as well pave way for holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, ending the Central rule imposed in June 2018.
Who all are attending?
The Centre had sent invitations to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for the all-party meet that began at 3 PM at the Prime Minister’s official residence, 7 Kalyan Marg in New Delhi.
Representatives from all regional political parties, including the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress, the Peoples Conference, and the Apni Party have said are attending the meeting.
READ: ‘Restoration of Article 370’, ‘full statehood' and a 'new social contract’ ; Here’s what political leaders from J&K will demand at the meeting with PM Modi
Four former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah of the National Conference (NC), Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress will be present at the meeting. The NC and the PDP are part of the PAGD. M Y Tarigami of the CPI (M), another PAGD constituent, will also be present.
Additionally, J&K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari, BJP's Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta and Peoples Conference's Sajad Gani Lone will also be present at the meeting.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary also attended the meeting.
What to expect?
While there has been no official word on the agenda of the meeting, reports have suggested that the Prime Minister would urge leaders to cooperate with the delimitation commission and set the electoral process in motion. Speculation is also rife that the Centre would restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.
Also, read: Explained | Delimitation in J&K: Here's all you need to know about the exercise
While PAGD leaders said they would raise alliance's demand seeking restoration of Article 370, the leaders representing Congress, the Apni party and the Panther’s party from Jammu said they will seek restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at the meeting.
Both Dr Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have said that they will put forth their demands of the restoration of J&K’s special status and statehood during the meeting.
Sources said that the government is clear that there will be no going back on the removal of Article 370 and while statehood, can be discussed. They said the idea behind reaching out to the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir is to seek their cooperation on the delimitation exercise underway in the UT.Also, read: Opinion | Restoration of status quo ante in Kashmir will be a retrograde step