In the first all-party meet with 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Centre is fully committed to the democratic process in the erstwhile state, and holding Assembly elections in the region after the process of delimitation.
PM Modi took to Twitter after the meet and said: "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."
"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," he added.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the government is "committed to ensure all round development of J&K". He took to Twitter after the meeting and said: " The future of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are 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," he added.
Among the 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, J-K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari; BJP's Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh, and Kavinder Gupta; CPI(M)'s M Y Tarigami; National Panthers Party's Prof Bheem Singh; and Peoples Conference's Sajad Gani Lone.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary also attended the meeting.
This comes after almost two years of the erstwhile state lost its special status and was downgraded into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.