New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called an important meeting in Delhi today to discuss the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and future course of action for the Union Territory. As many as 14 political leaders belonging various parties from Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to attend the key meet today. Most of the 14 leaders including four ex-chief ministers of J&K arrived in Delhi for the meeting by Wednesday evening. The meeting is seen as the first major outreach move by the Centre to end the political impasse in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and the splitting of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir on Alert Ahead of PM Modi’s All-Party Meet on J&K | Top Developments
According to sources, no fixed agenda has been set for the meeting and a freewheeling discussion is expected today. However, delimitation, statehood and assembly elections are expected to be the key issues for discussion at the all-party meeting.
Here’s what to expect from the key meet and what’s likely on the agenda:
1. Gupkar alliance to attend meet, likely to demand restoration of J&K’s special status: While the PAGD — a grouping of the National Conference, PDP, CPM, CPI, Awami National Conference and People’s Movement — has decided to attend the meeting, the constituents will be sending their individual representatives as well, indicating the bloc might be having a difference of opinion over the key issue of restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The PAGD was formed with the aim of striving to restore Jammu and Kashmir to its position as it existed before Article 370 was revoked on August 5, 2019.
2. Holding J&K Assembly elections likely to be key issue: One of the key issues that might be discussed at the all-party meeting is holding J&K Assembly elections. Reports said the meeting was called to “strengthen the political” in Jammu and Kashmir. While J&K is now a Union Territory, it still has a legislature.
J&K has not had an elected government since June 2018 when former CM Mehbooba Mufti-led government fell as BJP walked out of the PDP-BJP alliance.
3. Delimitation likely on cards: Holding assembly elections will require a delimitation exercise in J&K. Due to the bifurcation, the Union Territory of J&K has to undergo a delimitation process in which boundaries of assembly constituencies will be created.
A day before the meeting, the Election Commission on Wednesday held virtual discussions with its representatives in Jammu and Kashmir and deputy commissioners regarding the delimitation of the 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.
4. J&K Reorganisation Act, PoK likely on agenda too: The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 was notified by the government on August 9, 2019, which paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.
The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114 (including 24 seats falling under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.
Speculation is rife that the government may discuss nominating 24 members to J&K Assembly as representative of PoK.
5. Who all are expected to attend the meeting? Among the leaders who are scheduled to participate in the meeting are 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; BJP’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta; CPI(M)’s M Y Tarigami; National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh; and Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary would also attend the meeting.