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J&K leaders-Modi meeting Highlights: Delimitation has to happen at quick pace so that polls can happen, says PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi-J&K leaders meeting Highlights: This was a crucial meet, first since the stripping of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories in 2019, towards the return of elected representatives and the holding of Assembly elections.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi, Srinagar |
Updated: June 24, 2021 10:45:33 pm
PM Modi with J&K leaders before meeting.

After around three-hour-long talks with Jammu and Kashmir political leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said delimitation has to happen at quick pace so that polls can happen. “Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that gives strength to J&K’s development trajectory,” PM Modi said in a tweet.

After the meeting, where the demand for J&K’s statehood was raised by many, Union Minister Amit Shah said delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring the same. “We are committed to ensure all round development of J&K… the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament,” Shah tweeted.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said five demands –– granting of statehood, conducting Assembly elections to restore democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, release of all political detainees and that on domicile rules –– were put forward during their talks with the PM.

Terming the meeting “cordial” and “positive”, People’s Conference leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig said PM Modi assured that he will do everything to make Jammu and Kashmir a zone of peace rather than conflict. “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,” Baig added.

Ahead of the meeting, Jammu and Kashmir Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said they would raise the issue of statehood at the all-party meet convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “People in the state are shocked after the developments in 2019. We’ll wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda for today’s meeting and respond accordingly,” he said.

Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are on high alert as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a coalition of mainstream parties in J&K, in New Delhi today.

The Centre sees the Delhi talks, the first since the stripping of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories in 2019, as a significant step towards the return of elected representatives and the holding of Assembly elections subsequently in the two UTs to end Central rule imposed in June 2018.

Live Blog

PM Modi to host J&K leaders in New Delhi today; Delimitation Commission holds meeting with J&K deputy commissioners; Follow this space for Highlights:

22:04 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Mehbooba Mufti talks to media after meeting

Mehbooba Mufti talks to media after meeting.

22:03 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Omar Abdullah talks to media after meeting

Omar Abdullah talks to media after meeting

20:12 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K: PM Modi after meeting

"Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that gives strength to J&K’s development trajectory," PM Modi said.

19:51 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood must to rebuild trust: Farooq Abdullah

Talking to PTI immediately after a crucial meeting chaired by the prime minister, Abdullah said his National Conference would continue to challenge through legal and constitutional means the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. "There is a loss of trust which needs to be restored immediately and for that, to begin with, the Centre should work for restoration of complete statehood to Jammu and Kashmir," Abdullah, who is a Lok Sabha member, said. "I conveyed to the prime minister that the statehood means reverting even the IAS and IPS cadres of Jammu and Kashmir. The state has to be in totality," he said after the meeting that lasted for over three hours. The NC chief, who was accompanied by his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, said it was vital for the Centre to restore the identity of Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest so that other democratic exercises could be carried forward. --PTI

19:48 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Delimitation exercise, peaceful elections important milestones in restoring statehood: Amit Shah

"We are committed to ensure all round development of J&K. The future of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament," Amit Shah tweeted after meeting.

19:45 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Told PM that J&K don't accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated unconstitutionally: Mufti

"People of J&K are in a lot of difficulties after 5th Aug 2019. They're angry, upset & emotionally shattered. They feel humiliated. I told PM that people of J&K don't accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated unconstitutionally, illegally &immorally," Mehbooba Mufti, PDP, said.

19:44 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Azad Sahib said 1st statehood should be restored, then elections be held: Omar Abdullah

"All leaders demanded full statehood for J&K. Both PM & HM said the work for elections and restoring statehood should start soon. Azad Sahib said that first statehood should be restored and then elections should be held. On this PM didn't say anything," Omar Abdullah said.

19:41 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Told PM it's essential to reverse decisions that aren't in interest of J&K: Omar Abdullah

"We requested PM that our fight will continue but it's essential to reverse some decisions that aren't at all in the interest of J&K. It was given the status of a UT, people don't like it. They want full statehood for J&K with J&K cadre restored," ANI reported Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader, as saying.

19:39 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Told PM that we don't stand with August 4, 2019 events: Omar Abdullah after meeting

We told PM that we don't stand with what was done on 5th Aug 2019. We're not ready to accept it. But we won't take law into hands. We'll fight this in court. We also told PM that there's been breach of trust b/w State & Centre. It's Centre's duty to restore it: Omar Abdullah, National Conference

19:29 (IST)24 Jun 2021
PM said 'let us move ahead': Ghulam Ahmad Mir

"It was a good meeting, a good initiative. The Prime Minister heard all leaders. In response to them, he said, "let us move ahead," said Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Congress on PM Modi-J&K leaders meeting.

19:25 (IST)24 Jun 2021
J&K leaders with PM Modi after the meeting.

J&K leaders with PM Modi after the meeting.

19:19 (IST)24 Jun 2021
All leaders demanded statehood,

Terming the meeting "cordial" and "positive", People's Conference leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig said PM Modi assured that he will do everything to make Jammu and Kashmir a zone of peace rather than conflict. "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," Baig added.

19:00 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Asked for restoration of statehood: Ghulam Nabi Azad

"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," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on PM Modi-J&K leaders meet.

18:57 (IST)24 Jun 2021
PM told us Centre is committed towards restoration of J&K statehood: Bukhari

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: J&K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari on PM Modi-J&K leaders meet

18:53 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Prime Minister heard issues of all leaders: J&K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari

"The talks were held in a good atmosphere today. The Prime Minister heard our issues of all leaders. PM said that election process will begin when delimitation process finishes," J&K Apni Party's Altaf Bukhari on PM Modi-J&K leaders meet

18:42 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Meeting with PM Modi on J&K over

Meeting with PM Modi on J&K over

18:08 (IST)24 Jun 2021
PM meets J-K political leadership to chalk out future course of action (Eds: Adding info)

In the government's first outreach to Jammu and Kashmir's political leadership in almost two years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with 14 leaders, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory. The prime minister, accompanied by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, received the leaders from eight parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the BJP and the Congress, at his residence. This is the first interaction between the Central leadership and the mainstream parties since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. --PTI

16:21 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Meeting on J&K with PM underway

Meeting on J&K with PM underway. J&K party leaders present. (Photo: Twitter @PMOIndia)

16:02 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds meeting with J&K leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds meeting with Jammu and Kashmir leaders in Delhi

15:43 (IST)24 Jun 2021
All-party meeting begins at PM Modi's residence.

All-party meeting begins at PM Modi's residence.

A security personnel stands guard in Srinagar on Thursday. (PTI)

On Wednesday, the Delimitation Commission held a virtual meeting with the Deputy Commissioners of all J&K districts to discuss details of existing electoral constituencies. PM Modi plans to kick-start the political process leading to Assembly elections, the first step towards having an elected government in the Union Territory of J&K.

Speaking about the talks, National Conference president (Jammu) Devender Singh Rana said the party is ready for “any dialogue that can take us out of this morass and any dialogue which will lead to the welfare of the state of J&K and its people”.

He said the NC leadership in Jammu has reposed faith in Farooq Abdullah. “He’s not just the president of NC, he’s the tallest leader of J&K and he has assured us that he will represent the people from all regions — Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.”

The Centre’s decision to call all mainstream political leaders for a meeting marks a milestone. While the Delimitation Commission — which met on February 18 this year — has been studying various aspects related to redrawing of Assembly constituencies, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has been working in the background to bring this meeting of Modi with 14 key political leaders to fruition.

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