Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding an all-party meeting on J&K on Thursday, which is being seen as a major political outreach since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. A senior J&K confirmed that they have been intimated about the meeting next week and as such, are waiting for a “formal invitation”.
Sources believe the Center would discuss the delimitation exercise or the process of redrawing constituencies in the Union Territory. They said the Delimitation Commission had written to Deputy Commissioners of all 20 districts last Tuesday seeking fresh information on several aspects including population density and topography in all the districts and Assembly constituencies.
The Commission, as per The Indian Express, chaired by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, has last met on February 18 this year. Of the five Associate Members in the Commision, only two that is Jitendra Singh, Minister of State and MP and Jugal Kishore Singh, MP, attended the meeting. The remaining three, that is, Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi (all MPs of National Conference) did not attend. The Gupkar Alliance or PAGD (seven-party amalgam formed to campaign for the restoration of the status of J&K) was held on June 9 after a gap of over six months.
“Things have settled down in Kashmir. Developmental works are in progress. Security situation is under control,” said a source. “It is only fair to reach out to political parties. I can confirm that such a move is quite likely.” They added that Assembly elections, as and when they happen, will not be a surprise. “Yes, it is likely the process may be hastened and it may be achieved by the end of 2021. But in any case it will happen only after the Delimitation Commission submits its report.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday held two high-level meetings concerning issues related to development and security of Jammu and Kashmir. He issued several directions which included expanding the coverage of MGNryREGA, setting up an agri industry in every district, and strengthening of security and intelligence apparatus in the Union Territory.
“Comprehensive development of Jammu and Kashmir is Modi government’s top priority. Held a meeting to review development works in J&K and directed concerned departments to quicken the pace of development,” Shah said in a tweet.