Delimitation, election talked in New Delhi meeting; Kashmiri parties raise demand for statehood

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Delimitation remained the focal point of a high-profile three and a half hour meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir which concluded on Thursday evening in New Delhi.

Also, the political leaders from unionist parties of Jammu and Kashmir also stressed for an early restoration of the statehood, which was stripped in August 2019.

The several leaders who spoke after the meeting said the focus was on delimitation and they were told that once the process is complete, elections will be held.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, the representative of Congress party at the All Party Meeting, said his party put forward a five-point demand which included early election, early restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, land and employment security to domiciles, return of Kashmiri pandits and release of political prisoners. 

“We are not demanding the release of militants, but the political prisoners should be released,” he said.

Azad said “there is no better time” for restoration of the statehood. “We will be satisfied once the elections are held and statehood is restored,” he said. 

Muzafar Beigh of Peoples Conference said all were in agreement “towards working for democracy”. “Prime Minister listened very carefully,” he said. 

He said the demand for restoration was raised by “quiet a few people”. 

Sajad Lone of Peoples Conference said he “came out positive” from the meeting. 

The representatives of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration did not make the comment so far.

The high-profile meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence had began at 3 pm with the leaders of 14 political parties of J-K in attendance.

The fourteen leaders from J-K from eight political parties included PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and Ghulam Ahmad Mir, National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari, BJP’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta, CPI(M)’s M Y Tarigami, National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh, and Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone were present in this meeting.

Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and were also present in the meeting.

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