New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to a group of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that he wanted to remove “dil ki doori and Dilli ki doori” — distance between hearts and the distance with Delhi — National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said after a meeting to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory on Thursday.Also Read - Govt Withdraws Incentives, Allowances of All India Service Officers Posted in Northeast Region

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Abdullah said both Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah assured that they were committed to the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood. Also Read - Mukul Rohatgi Declines Centre's Offer to Return as Attorney General of India

Here Are Five Key Takeaways From PM Modi’s Meeting With J&K Leaders:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his government’s commitment to fostering grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir during his meeting with 14 leaders of eight mainstream political parties.
  2. The government’s main aim is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K.
  3. 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.
  4. PM Modi said “Dilli ki doori kam honi chahiye aur Dil ki doori bhi” (the distance from Delhi — the seat of power — and the distance between hearts should both be removed) to convey the spirit in which the meeting was called.
  5. Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the prime minister and the home minister had promised in Parliament that J&K’s statehood would be restored once the situation normalises.

This is the first interaction between the central leadership and the mainstream parties since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir”s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Also Read - Operation Opposition Unity: Sonia Gandhi Asks Nitish Kumar And Lalu Yadav To Meet Again After Congress Internal Election

PM Modi stressed that holding assembly elections, just like the successful conduct of the District Development Council polls, is a priority and that the polls can happen soon after the delimitation exercise, the sources said, adding that by and large most participants expressed willingness for it.

The prime minister stressed that an atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir and he wanted to remove ”Dilli ki Duri as well as ”Dil Ki Duri” (distance from Delhi as well as distance of heart), according to the sources.