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JK’s parties meet after being invited to the Prime Minister’s meeting; Cong raises the issue of restoring the state

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Bukhari said that a PGD meeting will be held on Tuesday where member parties will discuss the matter, and then a final decision will be made on whether or not to attend the meeting called by the prime minister.

Deputy and President of the National Conference (NC) Farooq Abdullah and PDP Leader and Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti | PTI / file

Eventful political consultations took place in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday among major regional parties including the National Conference (NC) and PDP in a multi-party meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 24th. June, while Congress raised the ground for immediate state restoration to JK.

The deliberations preceded a joint meeting of the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of six political parties, including the NC, the PDP, the CPM, the Awami National Conference, the CPI and the JK Peoples Movement, to be held on Tuesday to discuss their standing at the invitation of the Centers.

At the start of the day, a two-hour meeting of the political affairs committee of Mehbooba Muftis PDP took place.

The party unanimously authorized the party chairman to make a final decision on the matter, PDP chief spokesman Syed Suhail Bukhari told reporters outside Muftis’ residence after the meeting.

Bukhari said that a PGD meeting will be held on Tuesday where member parties will discuss the matter, and then a final decision will be made on whether or not to attend the meeting called by the prime minister.

After two days, the PGD meets, this issue will be discussed. Alliance members will give their suggestions and a decision on the way forward will be made there and then a decision will be made on attending the meeting, he said.

However, the release of Uncle Mehboobas Sartaj Madani from preventive detention after nearly six months and his parties jailed young President Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, indicted by the National Investigation Agency and the Jammu-et -Kashmir, brought back to Jammu from Kashmir is considered a gesture to ensure that Mehbooba attends the meeting.

The meeting of the MPs with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir is part of the initiatives of the Centers aimed at strengthening the political processes, including the holding of assembly elections, in the territory of the Union.

Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has also started the process of consultations with senior NC leaders, including party secretary general Ali Mohammad Sagar and Kashmir provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani.

Other participants in the meeting were Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Mian Altaf, Mubarak Gul, Sakina Itoo, Khalid Najeeb Suhurwardy and two MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi.

Consultations are launched. After the party chairman finishes speaking to party leaders, a PGD meeting will be held where member parties will discuss the issue and make a collective decision, Wani told reporters after the meeting.

Invitations have been sent to 14 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, to participate in the high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister, which is expected to set the roadmap for holding parliamentary elections in UT.

The leaders of eight political parties, the NC, the PDP, the BJP, the Congress, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, the CPI (M), the Peoples’ Conference and the Panthers Party were invited by telephone by the Minister Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to attend the meeting to be held at the Prime Minister’s residence in the nation’s capital at 3 p.m. Thursday.

This will be the Prime Minister’s first interaction with all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the central government repealed the state’s special status and divided it into UT. The old state has been under the rule of the Centers since June 2018.

In Delhi, Congress said the Center should accept the request to restore statehood to JK in the interests of the Constitution and democracy.

Chief Congressman Randeep Surjewala, however, did not say whether or not the party would attend the June 24 meeting.

Surjewala drew attention to the resolution of August 6, 2019 of the Congressional Working Committee (CWC) in which the party clearly called for the reestablishment of a full state for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

We believe defeating it is a direct attack on democracy and constitutional principles, he told reporters when asked about the matter.

Surjewala said Congress believes that granting a full state to Jammu and Kashmir as well as holding elections, so that people can elect their representatives and have their own assembly to conduct the affairs of the state, instead of a Delhi ruler, is the only way forward to ensure the full restoration of democratic rights in Jammu and Kashmir.

It is now up to the Prime Minister and the BJP to decide whether to hold a meeting or to accept the request of the Indian National Congress in the interests of the constitution, democracy and the people to restore the full sovereignty of the country. ‘State of Jammu and Kashmir, Surjewala mentioned.

In a related development, the Panthers Party, whose leader Bhim Singh has been invited for talks, staged a protest in Jammu against the central government’s so-called Kashmiri appeasement policy.

The party was unhappy that a majority of the leaders invited to the all-party meeting were from the valley.

Singh said he was meeting with party leaders on Monday to discuss the invitation and make a decision regarding his participation.

I have received an invitation to the meeting and will discuss it with party leaders tomorrow (Monday) to make a decision, the JKNPP chairman told PTI.

A group of party activists led by JKNPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh burned an effigy symbolizing the BJP-led central government outside the party headquarters here.

The government invited all Kashmir-based parties to the meeting, but ignored Jammu’s leadership.

Altaf Bukharis recently launched the Apni Party and the Sajjad Lones Peoples’ Conference, which have yet to be recognized by the Indian Election Commission, received the invitation when only Bhim Singh was a guest from Jammu, Harsh Dev Singh said to journalists.

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