Political leaders from across Jammu and Kashmir have arrived in New Delhi to attend an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting will be the first high-level interaction between the Centre and the political leadership from the Union Territory since August 2019. At the time, the Centre had bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as well as revoking special status.
According to sources, no fixed agenda has been set for the meeting and a freewheeling discussion is expected today. However, delimitation, statehood and assembly elections are expected to remain key issues for discussion at the all-party meeting.
"Unfortunately there is no agenda for (all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi). We've been told that it will be open and free debate," explained Jammu and Kashmir Congress president, Ghulam Ahmad Mir. He added that he would be attending the meeting alongside former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Tara Chand. Ahead of the all party meeting, Jammu and Kashmir Congress leaders had met up with Azad at his residence.
Three other Chief Ministers, Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have also been invited. The invited leaders include CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who is also a spokesman for the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
Although the PAGD has agreed to attend the meeting, its leaders especially the Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that they will ask New Delhi to restore Article 370 and 35 A. The PAGD which comprises of the National Conference, PDP, CPM, CPI, Awami National Conference and People's Movement will be sending individual representatives from the member parties.
Others slated to participate are Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari, BJP's Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta, National Panthers Party's Prof Bheem Singh, and Peoples Conference's Sajad Gani Lone.
Earlier today, BJP national president JP Nadda was photographed arriving at the party's headquarters to attend a meeting with the Jammu and Kashmir leaders of the party.
The meeting will also have Central Ministers. Alongside the Prime Minister, Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and the Home Secretary will also attend the meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)