PDP to hold meeting today to take call on Centre’s invite for talks on Jammu and Kashmir

New Delhi: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti informed that the party will hold a meeting on Sunday (June 20) to discuss the invitation of the Centre to all regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for talks. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting on June 24 with the political leaders of the Union Territory. Invitations for the meeting were sent out on Saturday to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers– Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti., PTI reported. 

“There is no agenda for the meeting but I was conveyed that the meeting is being called to review the general situation and how to take the political process forward. There is no clear-cut agenda,” Mufti told the news agency. 

The high-profile meeting will be the first such dialogue since the Centre announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir‘s special status and its bifurcation into union territories in August 2019. The meeting is likely to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders. 

After the invites were sent, the National Conference, PDP and the Congress said they will take a call on attending the meeting with the PM in Delhi only after deliberations within their respective parties. 

Leaders of eight political parties including the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party– were invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the prime minister’s residence at 3 PM on Thursday.

The BJP and the Altaf Bukhari-led Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party have confirmed their participation in the meeting. 

As per the news agency, Centre is eager to conduct assembly elections in the union territory as early as possible, likely to be held either in December or March next year after the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Desai completes its task of redrawing constituencies in the next few months, an official said. 

J&K has been under the rule of the Centre since November 2018.

Meanwhile, senior PDP leader Sartaj Madni was released after six months of detention, hours after Mufti received Centre’s invite. As per an official, Madni, who was under preventive detention at MLA hostel in Srinagar, was released on Saturday afternoon.

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