Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

PM Modi’s J&K Outreach: Most Invited Leaders Arrive In Delhi For Meet

The Centre has invited 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi

The Centre has invited PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NC president Farooq Abdullah and 12 other leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for talks with PM Modi PTI

Most of the 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks arrived in Delhi late Wednesday.

Of those who have already reached Delhi are four ex-chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir-- Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

Earlier, the Centre invited Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, former J&K chief minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir, People’s Conference president Sajad Lone, J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina, president of Nationalist Panthers Party Prof Bhim Singh, Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, and general secretary CPIM Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami for a meeting with the prime minister at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi at 3 pm on Thursday with no specific agenda.

Thursday’s meet is the biggest political outreach from the Centre to the mainstream leaders who were incarcerated and kept in preventive custody for over a year after the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajad Lone, Mohammad Yousuf Taragami were kept in preventive detention on the day Article 370 was abrogated on August 5, 2019 and were released one year later.

With no agenda announced for the Thursday meeting, the J&K leaders said they will go with an open mind.

"We have not been given an agenda. We will be attending the meeting to know what the Centre is offering,” said CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who is also a spokesman for the six-party People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

The Communist leader said the PAGD will "be out there to protect the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir."

While the PAGD-- a grouping of the National Conference, PDP, CPM, CPI, Awami National Conference and People's Movement -- has decided to attend the meeting, the constituents will be sending their individual representatives as well, indicating the bloc might be having a difference of opinion over the key issue of restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The PAGD was formed with the aim of striving to restore Jammu and Kashmir to its position as it existed before Article 370 was revoked on August 5, 2019.

The National Conference, meanwhile, continued intra-party interactions and a delegation of Jammu-based leaders headed by Devendra Rana met party president Farooq Abdullah at the latter's residence here on Wednesday.

"Our only stand is a single J-K, to maintain its unity and integrity and respecting the wishes and aspirations of the people of J-K,” Rana said.

He said dialogue and inclusiveness is an important and vital essence of democracy.

"Any dialogue that can take us out of this morass and can lead to the welfare of the state of J-K and its people, we are all for it," he said.

He said the party leaders from Jammu have reposed faith in Abdullah as he is not only the president of the NC, but the tallest leader of J-K.

(With PTI inputs)