New Delhi: Soon after the crucial meeting with 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir was over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Centre’s top priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Saying that the delimitation has to happen at a quick pace in the UT, PM Modi said J&K should get an elected government that gives strength to development trajectory.Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Lavishes Praise On Mithali Raj, Says Cricketer Is An 'Inspiration' To Many

“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.” PM Modi said. Also Read - 'Bavarian Band, Indian Diaspora': PM Modi Receives Warm Welcome In Germany Ahead Of G7 Summit | Watch

He also added that the democracy’s biggest strength is the ability to sit across a table and exchange views. “I told the leaders of J&K that it is the people, specially the youth who have to provide political leadership to J&K, and ensure their aspirations are duly fulfilled,” PM Modi said. Also Read - Apply For A Toilet Online And Get A Direct Benefit Transfer To Build One

He also added that the meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir was an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive J&K, where all-round growth is furthered.

Official sources told news agency PTI that the main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process and the prime minister said that the government was fully committed to it.

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.

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), sources told news agency PTI.

The four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state who participated in the discussions were Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Four former deputy chief ministers were in attendance too – Congress’ Tara Chand, People’s Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig and BJP’s Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta.