Jammu & Kashmir leaders in huddle ahead of PM’s meet

The prime minister’s all-party meeting with Jammu and Kashmir leaders on June 24 is likely to focus on building a consensus to take the democratic process forward by agreeing to a roadmap to hold assembly elections, starting with participation by all parties in the delimitation exercise, those familiar with the issues told ET. The issue of statehood is also expected to be taken up for discussions.

The commission has earlier held discussions with political parties from the state which was boycotted by former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah, among others. Abdullah is presently the chairman of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

PAGD was formed in October last year as an electoral alliance between the several regional political parties in J&K aimed at restoring special status along with Article 35A of the erstwhile state.

The Centre is also likely to reach out to political parties for their analysis of the Covid-19 situation in the hill state, vaccination of residents and the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, added officials.

The J&K administration said they have vaccinated 76% of its population and in four districts, the vaccination percentage was 100%. On development projects, the Centre is likely to announce the sanction of a scheme for industrial development notified in February this year. The planned scheme has a total financial outlay of ₹28,400 crore up to 2037 and provides four types of incentives –– capital investment incentive, capital interest subvention, goods & service tax linked incentive and working capital interest subvention.

On Saturday, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla invited all 14 political leaders of the erstwhile state for the meeting and asked them to present a Covid-19 negative report. Four former deputy CMs of the erstwhile state — Congress leader Tara Chand, People’s Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig, and BJP leaders Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta — too have been invited to the meet.

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