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Delhi meeting – Doori Na Rahe Koi…

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PM wants to remove distances of 'Dilli’ and 'Dil’ with J&K; Says delimitation exercise to happen quickly so that polls take place

Srinagar/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he wanted to end ‘Dilli ki duri’ as well as ‘Dil ki duri’ with Jammu and Kashmir.

He said this at a meeting held with 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to discuss the future course of political action — two years after the abrogation of the Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.

Modi said he wanted to remove ‘Dilli ki duri’ as well as ‘Dil ki duri’ (distance from Delhi as well as distance of heart), according to official sources.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, MoS (PMO) Jitender Singh, NSA Ajit Doval and senior officials, besides four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state — Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti — were among those who attended the three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting.

Four former deputy chief ministers including Congress’ Tara Chand, People’s Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig and BJP’s Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta, besides CPI-M leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Sajad Gani Lone of the People’s Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari, J&K Congress head G A Mir, BJP’s Ravinder Raina and Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh also participated in the meeting.

Modi patiently heard out suggestions and inputs from all participants and expressed that all of them shared their frank and honest views, the sources said.

It was an open discussion which revolved around building a better future for Kashmir, they said.

The main focus of the meeting was to strengthen the democratic process and the prime minister assured that the central government was fully committed to the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

The prime minister stressed that the holding of Assembly elections just like the successful conduct of the DDC polls is a priority.

It was discussed that elections can happen soon after delimitation and by and large most participants expressed willingness for it, they said.

Modi emphasised the need to strengthen democracy at the grassroots and work together with the people of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure their uplift.

He expressed happiness on the commitment to the Constitution and democracy espoused by all participants.

Modi said that even one death in Jammu and Kashmir is painful and it is the collective duty to protect the younger generation. He noted that the security forces alone could not change the situation and called upon all the leaders to personally involve themselves in stopping needless loss of lives.

He stressed that there is a need to give opportunities to the youths of Jammu and Kashmir and they will give back lots to the country.

The development achieved by Jammu and Kashmir was discussed in detail with implementation of many pro-people initiatives.

Modi expressed satisfaction with the acceleration of development in Jammu and Kashmir and said that it is creating new hope and aspirations among the people.

He said when people experience corruption-free governance, it inspires trust among them and they also extend their cooperation to the administration and this is visible in Jammu and Kashmir now-a-days, according to the sources.

Modi said there would be political differences but everyone should work in national interest so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are benefitted.

He stressed that an atmosphere of safety and security needs to be ensured for all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

Modi also said the ongoing delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir has to happen quickly so that polls can be held to install an elected government that gives strength to its development trajectory.

In a series of tweets after a three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting with 14 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the deliberations were an important step in the ongoing efforts towards a developed and progressive Jammu and Kashmir where all-round growth is furthered.

“Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that gives strength to J&K’s development trajectory,” he said.

The prime minister said it was the biggest strength of Indian democracy that people can sit across a table and exchange views.

“I told the leaders of J&K that it is the people, especially the youth who have to provide political leadership to J&K, and ensure their aspirations are duly fulfilled,” he said.

This is the first interaction between the central leadership and mainstream parties since August 05, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. (With inputs from PTI)

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