Udayavni Special

PDP’s decision making body authorises Mehbooba Mufti to decide on Centre’s invite for talks


PTI, Jun 20, 2021, 2:45 PM IST

Srinagar: The political affairs committee (PAC) — the highest decision making body of the PDP – on Sunday authorised party president Mehbooba Mufti to take a call on the invitation of the Centre to mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for talks.

The decision was taken after a two-hour-long meeting of the PAC which was chaired by Mehbooba at her ‘Fairview’ residence in Gupkar area of the city here. The meeting was called to take a call on the party’s participation in the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24. “The PAC unanimously authorised the party president to take a final decision on the matter,” PDP chief spokesperson Syed Suhail Bukhari told reporters outside Mehbooba’s residence after the meeting.

Bukhari said a meeting of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) will take place on Tuesday where the member parties will discuss the issue and then a final decision will be taken on whether to participate or not in the meeting called by the Prime Minister. “After two days, the PAGD is meeting, this issue will be discussed. The members of the alliance will give their suggestions and a decision on the way forward will be taken there and afterwards, a decision will be taken over the participation of the meeting,” he said.

Earlier, the PAC which includes party leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Mehboob Beg, Naeem Akhtar, Surinder Choudhary, Yashpal Sharma, Master Tassaduq Hussain, Sofi Abdul Gaffar, Nizam-ud-Din Bhat, Aasiya Naqash, Firdous Ahmad Tak, and Muhammad Yusuf Bhat met at Mehbooba’s residence. Madni was released from a six-month-long preventive detention on Saturday, hours after Mehbooba received the invitation over phone for the meeting. While Veeri was present physically in the meeting at Gupkar along with the PDP chief spokesperson Bukhari, others joined the deliberations virtually.

The PM’s meeting with all political parties from Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the union territory.

Invitations were sent out to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, for participation in a high-level meeting to be chaired by the prime minister, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections in the UT.

These leaders of eight political parties — the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party — were telephonically invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the prime minister’s residence at 3 PM on Thursday.

This will be the prime minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated the state’s special status and bifurcated it into union territories. The erstwhile state has been under the Centre’s rule since June 2018.

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