J&K set for Assembly polls? Centre calls all-party meet

This is the first time PM Modi has reached out to political leaders across Jammu and Kashmir since the Valley lost its special status in 2019

Apart from Mufti, many other political leaders of the Valley also received an informal call to attend the meeting. PTI

The Centre has called all leading parties in Jammu and Kashmir for an all-party meeting, which will be chaired by PM Modi on June 24. The process of redrawing constituencies in the Valley will be discussed in the first meeting with Prime Minister since the Valley lost its special status.

People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti confirmed to many media houses that she had received an informal call to attend the meeting and it is being discussed whether PDP would attend the party or not. Apart from Mufti, many other political leaders of the Valley also received an informal call to attend the meeting. Mufti also said that it was not yet confirmed if all the parties which are members of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) received the informal invite.

Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with J&K Lt. governor, Manoj Sinha, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, and other top officials of CRPF, IB, and RAW to discuss the law-and-order situation as well as the developmental projects in the Valley. Shah told the officials that they shouldn’t let their guards down despite the situation being under control in the region.

This meeting comes a week after former J&K CM and present chairperson of PAGD, Farooq Abdullah said, “We have not closed any doors or options… If they invite us, then we will decide at that time.” When he was asked about the rumoured high-level meet, he said that he would discuss the strategy for the meeting only after getting a formal invitation from the Centre.

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Also read: Jammu Kashmir issue can only be settled through talks between India, Pak: Mehbooba

This is the first time PM Modi has reached out to political leaders across Jammu and Kashmir since the Valley lost its special status in 2019. In August 2019, the Centre ended the special status of J&K and bifurcated it into two Union Territories: Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre is also expected to discuss the Assembly elections in the region, which have not taken place since 2018.

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