Srinagar June 24(KINS): In a long three and half hour crucial meeting with top leadership of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen.
“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,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
As per sources, key issues like delimitation and assembly elections were discussed that may pave way for the political processes in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the meeting, where the demand for J&K’s statehood was raised by many, Union Minister Amit Shah said delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring the same. “We are committed to ensure all round development of J&K.
The delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament,” Shah tweeted.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said five demands granting of statehood, conducting Assembly elections to restore democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, release of all political detainees and that on domicile rules were put forward during their talks with the PM.
Terming the meeting “cordial” and “positive”, People’s Conference leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig said PM Modi assured that he will do everything to make Jammu and Kashmir a zone of peace rather than conflict. “All leaders demanded statehood. To which the PM said, the delimitation process should conclude first and then other issues will be addressed. It was a satisfactory meeting. There was complete unanimity for restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” Baig added.
The Centre sees the Delhi talks, the first since the stripping of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories in 2019, as a significant step towards the return of elected representatives and the holding of Assembly elections subsequently in the two UTs to end Central rule imposed in June 2018.
Talking to reporters outside PM residence in New Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari said that PM asked all to participate in the delimitation process. We have been assured that this is the roadmap towards elections. The PM also said that we are committed to the restoration of statehood.
The talks were held in a good atmosphere today. The Prime Minister heard our issues from all leaders. The PM said that the election process will begin when the delimitation process finishes, Altaf said.
Before the all party meeting Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Sinha met the Prime Minister at the latter’s residence. “Sinha briefed the Prime Minister over the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir,”sources said.
At least 14 leaders of Jammu and Kashmir were invited for the All Party Meeting.
The all-party meeting was the first political engagement since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 when the Centre had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said in February this year that statehood will be restored to J-K at an appropriate time.(KINS)