J&K leaders to hold talks before taking call on Centre’s invite for all-party meet


Team Udayavani, Jun 19, 2021, 1:56 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to chair a meeting with all political parties from Jammu and Kashmir on 24 June the heads of two main regional parties in the union territory on Saturday said they will first discuss the issue with their colleagues before taking a call on attending the meeting.

The all-party 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 part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding Assembly elections, in the Union Territory, officials said on Friday.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, notified by the government on August 9, 2019, provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.

The central leadership has begun the process of inviting National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah, PDP chairperson Mehbooba Mufti, Altaf Bukhari of the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP), and People’s Conference head Sajjad Lone for the discussion, the officials said.

Mehbooba told PTI on Friday night that she had received a call from the Centre for a meeting on 24 June. “I am yet to take a decision. I will discuss with my party members and take a final call,” she said.

NC chief Farooq Abdullah, who is also president of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), said they have not received any formal invitation from New Delhi for talks so far. “As and when we receive any invitation, we will first sit and discuss the strategy for the meeting,” he…

Both Abdullah and Mehbooba had served as chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked about the prospect of talks with the Centre, CPM leader and spokesperson of the PAGD MY Tarigami said there has been no word from New Delhi, but added that if it happens, it would be welcomed.

“We have never closed our doors for meaningful engagement with the Centre. Though I have no information about any dialogue, if it happens, it will be welcomed,” Tarigami told PTI from Srinagar.

The PAGD is an alliance of some parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the NC and the PDP, that was formed in the aftermath of the Centre’s August 2019 decisions.

 

With PTI inputs

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