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J-K leaders mull over attending PM's meet in Delhi

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
June 20, 2021 08:43 IST
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The National Conference, the People's Democratic Party and the Congress on Saturday said they will take a call on attending a meeting with the prime minister in Delhi after deliberations within their respective parties, while the Bharatiya Janata Party expressed hope that all invitees will take part in the all-party deliberations.

 

Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

Fourteen leaders of eight political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have been invited to the meeting that will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24 to discuss the future course of action for the union territory.

The BJP and the Altaf Bukhari-led Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party have confirmed their participation in the meeting, while five -- the NC, the PDP, the Congress, the People's Conference and the Communist Party of India-Marxist -- will take a call after intra-party deliberations.

There was no immediate reaction available from Bhim Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party.

The meeting -- the first such exercise since the Centre announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and its bifurcation into union territories in August 2019 -- is likely to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders.

National Conference president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah said that he had received a phone call inviting him the all-party meeting.

"It is welcome step and I will be consulting senior party leaders in next few days to discuss the future course of action," he told PTI in Srinagar.

The PDP will hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the invitation of the Centre to political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for talks, party president Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday.

Mehbooba told PTI, "There is no clear-cut agenda about the talks with New Delhi. However, I have asked my party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) for a meeting to discuss the same."

The last chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, who had an alliance government with the BJP from 2016 to 2018, she said that the decision of whether to participate in the talks would be taken by the party.

"There is no agenda for the meeting but I was conveyed that the meeting is being called to review the general situation and how to take the political process forward. There is no clear-cut agenda," Mehbooba said.

CPI-M leader M Y Tarigami said that he had received the call and that he would discuss the issue of the participation in the meeting with his party before taking a final call on it.

Congress unit chief G A Mir said that he would wait for instructions from the party high command about the attendance of the meeting. Holding dialogue was a welcome step as dialogue with stakeholders was the only way forward, he added.

"Though, we do not know the agenda of the meeting yet, I think, by Monday, we will be able to say something (over the issue of participation in the meeting)," Mir said.

A People's Conference leader said the party leadership will sit together on Sunday or the day after to take a decision on whether to participate in the meeting or not.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Bukhari told PTI, "We will go to attend the meeting. We have always believed in dialogue and we are committed to it and committed to our promises of restoring the democratic rights and the identity of the people of J-K."

He said the party has been able to achieve its promises of land and job rights for the domiciles of the union territory and 'we believe, the statehood should be restored as well'.

The BJP said it is confident that all the Jammu and Kashmir leaders invited to a meeting with the prime minister in Delhi to discuss the future course of action for the union territory will attend the 'important' deliberations.

BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit president Ravinder Raina, who is among the invitees, claimed the meeting convened by the prime minister is in accordance with the wishes of heads of various political parties who have been seeking time from him and demanding such a meeting for a long time.

"The leaders of all political parties of J-K are meeting the prime minister in Delhi on June 24 and I have also received an invitation from the Prime Minister's Office. All parties' meetings are being convened in special circumstances and there was also a demand from various political parties for such a meeting with regard to J-K," Raina said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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