Mehbooba Mufti holds PDP meeting
in Srinagar after meet with PM Modi

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SRINAGAR: Days after attending an all-party meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday held a meeting with other leaders of the party at her residence in Srinagar.

According to PDP spokesperson SS Bukhari, discussions regarding the party’s participation in the union territory elections will be held when they reach that stage.

“Mehbooba Mufti Ji today held a meeting on the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, following an all-party meeting with the Prime Minister. Discussions on whether the party will participate in elections or not will only be held when we reach that stage,” Bukhari said.

Group picture of Kashmiri leaders with Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi on June 24.

PM Modi had on June 24 held the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Among the 14 leaders who participated in the meeting were Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and GA Mir; National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari. The issue of restoration of statehood was also raised by several participants in the meeting.

The PDP chief told reporters after the 3.5 hour-long meeting that she has told the Prime Minister that the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated “unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally”.

“People of Jammu and Kashmir are in a lot of difficulties after August 5, 2019. They are angry, upset and emotionally shattered. They feel humiliated. I told Prime Minister that people do not accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated unconstitutionally, illegally and immorally.”

Meeting with PM

The all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir concluded after more than three hours on Thursday, 24 June, with the attendees later telling the media that the Centre expressed its commitment to the restoration of statehood.

“The Home Minister (Amit Shah) said the government is committed to granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. All leaders demanded full-fledged statehood,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted as saying after the meeting.

A file picture of Mehbooba Mufti in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Parliament House, New Delhi.

Tweeting after the meeting, PM Narendra Modi said it was “an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive J&K, where all-round growth is furthered.”

“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,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the meeting was conducted in a “very cordial environment,” with the future of Jammu and Kashmir being discussed.

“Everyone expressed their commitment to democracy and the constitution. It was stressed to strengthen the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir… 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,” Shah said in his tweets.