Congress and J&K parties want state first, elections later

P Chidambaram said Congress and the other J&K parties want a state first and elections second.

New Delhi:

Top Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said parties and leaders in Congress, Jammu and Kashmir want state first and elections second, but the Center wants elections first and a State later.

The Congress leader’s statement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured leaders of Jammu and Kashmir that the Union government is in favor of holding assembly elections and restoring the its status as a State once the delimitation exercise has been completed.

“Congress and the other J&K parties and leaders want a state first and elections second. The government’s response is elections first and a state later,” the congressman said in a tweet.

He added: “The horse is pulling the cart. A state must organize elections. Only such elections will be free and fair. Why does the government want the cart in front and the horse behind? It’s weird, ”he added.

Prime Minister Modi chaired the multi-party meeting attended by 14 prominent leaders from the territory of the Union.

This was the first high-level interaction between the Center and predominantly Kashmiri political leaders since August 5, 2019, when the Center revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was divided into two Union territories.

Among the leaders who attended the meeting were Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and GA Mir from Congress; Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah of the National Conference; Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP, Altaf Bukhari of the JK Apni Party; Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta from BJP; MY Tarigami from CPI (M); Professor Bheem Singh of the National Panthers Party; and Sajad Gani Lone from the Peoples’ Conference.

Interior Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and Interior Minister also attended the meeting.

Earlier in March this year, the Boundary Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, which was established in March 2020 to redesign parliamentary and assembly constituencies, secured a one-year extension from the central government.

The delineation panel, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, has only been in place for one year. Later, the panel received a notice in the gazette was published by the Union Justice and Justice Department on March 3, 2021, in this regard.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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