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Full statehood, Article 370 - J&K leaders’ key demands in meeting with PM Modi

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said he and his party are not ready to accept what happened on August 5, 2019

Thursday June 24, 2021 8:54 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Kashmir Meet

New Delhi: During more than three and half hour meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday leaders from Jammu and Kashmir demanded full statehood and restoration of Article 370.

“Restoration of full statehood and Article 370 are key demands of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and we said this to the prime minister categorically”, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti told reporters after today’s meeting.

Talking to reporters, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said he and his party are not ready to accept what happened on August 5, 2019 (abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K).

"However, we will not break the law. We will fight it out in court," he said.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said his party will continue to challenge, through legal and constitutional means, the decision of the central government to revoke the powers of Article 370 of the Constitution, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

"There is a loss of trust which needs to be restored immediately and for that, to begin with, the Centre should work for restoration of complete statehood to Jammu and Kashmir," Abdullah, who is a Lok Sabha member, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Delimitation, roadmap for Assembly polls, domicile rules, release of political prisoners and bringing back Kashmiri Pandits were other key issues discussed in the crucial all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir chaired by Prime Minister Modi and involved leaders from different political parties in J&K.

In the first such meeting held nearly two years after the erstwhile state of J&K lost its special status and was bifurcated into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- the Prime Minister heard all the suggestions and inputs put forward by the participants.

“The Centre is fully committed to the democratic process in J&K, and holding Assembly elections in the region is a priority”, PM Modi said after the meeting.

Meeting on Jammu Kashmir

The Prime Minister emphasised the need to strengthen democracy at the grassroots level and work together with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure their upliftment.

Modi said that there would be political differences, but everyone should work for the national interest to benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He stressed that an atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that he wants to remove the 'Dilli ki Duri' as well as 'Dil Ki Duri'.

Four former J&K Chief Ministers were among the 14 leaders who took part in the meeting. Three of them -- National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti -- were put under detention for six months to one year from August 5, 2019, when the changes were enforced.

Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad was the other former J&K CM who took part in the all-party meeting chaired by the Prime Minister.

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