Highlights of the meeting between J&K leaders and Modi include: Delimitation must be completed quickly in order for polls to be held, according to Prime Minister Modi.

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After around three-hour-long talks with Jammu and Kashmir political leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said delimitation has got to happen at a quick pace in order that polls can happen. “Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has got to happen at a fast pace in order that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that provides strength to J&K’s development trajectory,” PM Modi said during a tweet.

After the meeting, where the demand for J&K’s statehood was raised by many, Union Minister Amit Shah said delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring an equivalent. “We are committed to making sure all-round development of J&K… the delimitation exercise and peaceful elections are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in parliament,” Shah tweeted.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said five demands –– granting of statehood, conducting Assembly elections to revive democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, the release of all political detainees which on domicile rules –– suggested during their talks with the PM.

Terming the meeting “cordial” and “positive”, People’s Conference leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig said PM Modi assured that he will do everything to form Jammu and Kashmir a zone of peace instead of conflict. “All leaders demanded statehood. To which PM said, the delimitation process should conclude first then other issues are going to be addressed. it had been a satisfactory meeting. There was complete unanimity for restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” Baig added.

Ahead of the meeting, Jammu and Kashmir Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said they might raise the difficulty of statehood at the all-party meet convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “People within the state are shocked after the developments in 2019. We’ll await Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda for today’s meeting and respond accordingly,” he said.

Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are on high alert as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met leaders of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a coalition of mainstream parties in J&K, in New Delhi today.

The Centre sees the Delhi talks, the primary since the stripping of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories in 2019, as a big step towards the return of elected representatives and therefore the holding of Assembly elections subsequently within the two UTs to finish Central rule imposed in June 2018.

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