Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting with the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir today. A total of 14 leaders, including National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone and Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Apni Party leader Altaf Bukhari, will attend the meet at the Prime Minister’s residence in Delhi. BJP J&K unit leaders Kavinder Gupta, Nirmal Singh, and Ravinder Singh, and Bhim Singh from J&K Panthers will also attend today’s meet.
This will be the first meeting between PM Modi and the leaders of J&K since the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories in August 2019.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has sounded a high alert for the next 48 hours in the UT and suspended mobile internet services. Areas along the Line of Control have also been put on high alert.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla is said to have reached out to J&K leaders for the meeting. Reports say that the Centre reached out to politicians to discuss the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory. According to multiple media reports, polls in Jammu and Kashmir could take place in November this year or early next year.
New Delhi has also dropped enough hints about J&K’s statehood being restored soon and the Assembly elections can be held in 2022, soon after the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory is completed. The ball is in the court of the traditional politicians of the Valley now. They have to decide what they want, do they want to remain stranded in the past or want to move on.
Since the day Kashmiri leaders have received the invitation from New Delhi, they have been upbeat and look keen to attend the all-party meeting. If all goes well, a new beginning for them is on the cards and the ice is all set to melt.