Fourteen leaders from eight political parties — including Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP and the National Conference — have been invited to the meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir at his Delhi residence at 3 pm today in the central government’s first major outreach since the scrapping of special status under Article 370 in 2019.
Here are the some points of this big story
- The meeting is aimed at setting on course the political process in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under President’s Rule since 2018 when the ruling coalition collapsed after the BJP snapped ties with then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
- Jammu and Kashmir parties will be sounded out on delimitation or redrawing of constituencies as the first step towards assembly polls after Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories. The government says while restoration of statehood will be considered at an appropriate time, that time has not come yet.
- The Congress has also said it would attend the meeting, and that restoration of statehood was its first priority.
- On Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and top security and intelligence officers.
- Home ministry officials have said with terrorism at a low in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, the timing is right to begin the political process.
- There was expectation that assembly elections will be held along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
- But the Election Commission flagged concerns about security expressed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
- In December, local body elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir, in which Gupkar Alliance won more than 100 seats and the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 74 seats.