Prime Minister Modi on Thursday held a meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting, held at the 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, went on for around 3.5 hours. The major points of discussion at the meeting included the delimitation process, assembly elections and the development of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Jammu and Kashmir leaders following an all-party meeting today. pic.twitter.com/pksqTVRsR4
— ANI (@ANI) June 24, 2021
In a major outreach to Kashmiri leaders, the Prime Minister reportedly called for removing “dil ki duuri and Dilli ki durri.” PM Modi also reportedly said at the meeting that conducting assembly elections is a priority and that his government was committed to the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, a major sticking issue was the restoration of the special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state of J&K under Article 370 and Article 35-A. The central government cited an ongoing court case in the Supreme Court against the abrogation as the reason for not discussing the issue.
According to many media reports, the Prime Minister patiently heard the demands and suggestions of various political leaders.
As reported earlier, Modi asked for support from all political parties of J&K to complete the delimitation process. The assembly elections would be conducted after the delimitation commission completes its work, he reportedly assured the group of leaders
Congress leader and former Chief Minister of J&K, Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured them of the government’s commitment to restore statehood to J&K. He also said that the Congress had raised five demands during the meeting including rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, releasing political prisoner and giving the guarantee of land ownership.
After the meeting, Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter and said, “Today’s meeting on Jammu and Kashmir was conducted in a very cordial environment.” In a significant statement, he said that the delimitation and conduction of peaceful election were important milestones in restoring the statehood of J&K.
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. pic.twitter.com/oa6ZYQVz9J
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 24, 2021
Altaf Bukhari of the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party expressed confidence that the delimitation in the UT will be done fairly.
The Prime Minister said that each death in Jammu and Kashmir is very painful and that it is the responsibility of all political leaders to protect the younger generation in the UT. The leader of the People’s Conference, Sajjad lone called the meeting ‘cordial’ and hoped that it would benefit the people of J&K.
The home minister, Amit Shah talking to the media said, “The meeting was held in a cordial manner and the Centre aims at bringing an all-round development, full statehood in Jammu and Kashmir.”