Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with Jammu and Kashmir political party leaders to chalk out the future political course of action in the Union Territory. A total of 14 leaders, including four former chief ministers attended PM Modi's meeting. The meeting was the first between the Centre and mainstream Jammu and Kashmir politicians after the abrogation of Article 370 and the division of the erstwhile state into two union territories in August 2019.
The Prime Minister heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants. He expressed happiness that all participants shared their honest views. It was an open discussion that revolved around building a better future for Kashmir, sources said.
Attending the meeting, J&K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari said, "the PM asked all to participate in the delimitation process. We have been assured that this is the roadmap towards elections. PM also said that we are committed to the restoration of statehood."
"The talks were held in a good atmosphere today. The Prime Minister heard our issues of all leaders. PM said that the election process will begin when delimitation process finishes," Bukhari added.
"All leaders demanded statehood. To which PM said, the delimitation process should conclude first and then other issues will be addressed. It was a satisfactory meeting. There was complete unanimity for restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir," said Muzaffar Hussain Baig.
"All leaders of Jammu and Kashmir have been assured by PM Narendra Modi that all will work together for the future and betterment of J&K. PM Modi heard everyone and said that all steps will be taken for the development of the people of J&K," Ravinder Raina, J&K BJP chief said.
Addressing media after the meeting, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The Home Minister said the government is committed to granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. All leaders demanded full-fledged statehood."
"We kept 5 demands in the meeting — grant statehood soon, conduct Assembly elections to restore democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, all political detainees should be released and on domicile rules," Ghulam Nabi Azad added.
Meanwhile, sources said that the main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process. The Prime Minister said that we are fully committed to the democratic process in J&K. He stressed that holding Assembly elections just like the successful conduct of DDC elections is a priority.
Delimitation, full statehood discussed in meeting
It was discussed that elections can happen soon after delimitation & by & large most participants expressed willingness for it. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to strengthen democracy at grassroots & work together with people of J&K to ensure their upliftment, sources said.
PM Modi expressed happiness on the commitment to Constitution & Democracy espoused by participants. He said even one death in J&K is painful & it's our collective duty to protect youth. He stressed that we need to give opportunities to J&K youth & they'll give back lots to our country.
The development achieved by J&K was discussed in detail with the implementation of many pro-people initiatives. PM expressed satisfaction with the acceleration of development in Jammu and Kashmir and said that it is creating new hope and aspirations among the people, sources said.
What PM Modi said in J&K meeting?
The Prime Minister said that when people experience corruption-free governance, it inspires trust among the people and people also extend their co-operation to the administration and this is visible in J&K today.
PM expressed happiness on the commitment to Constitution & Democracy espoused by participants. He said even one death in J&K is painful & it's our collective duty to protect youth. He stressed that we need to give opportunities to J&K youth & they'll give back lots to our country.
It was discussed that elections can happen soon after delimitation & by & large most participants expressed willingness for it. Prime Minister emphasised the need to strengthen democracy at the grassroots & work together with the people of J&K to ensure their upliftment.
The Prime Minister said that there would be political differences but everyone should work in the national interest so that people of J&K benefit. He stressed that the atmosphere of safety & security needs to be ensured for all in J&K.
PM Modi said he wanted to remove 'Dilli ki Duri' and 'Dil Ki Duri'.