Mehbooba Mufti Likely to Skip PM Modi’s Kashmir Meet, May Nominate Farooq Abdullah

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PDP head and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, will most likely not attend PM Narendra Modi’s meeting with leaders of eight political parties of J&K, sources told News18.

Mehbooba Mufti had earlier confirmed that she had received a call from the Centre for taking part in the meeting in Delhi on June 24.

A crucial meet of the PDP’s political affairs committee– the highest decision-making body of the party – was held on Sunday to discuss the invitation of the Centre to regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for talks.

The meet began at 11 am at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s ‘Fairview’ residence at Gupkar.

The PAC, headed by Mehbooba, includes party leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Mehboob Beg, Naeem Akhtar, Surinder Choudhary, Yashpal Sharma, Master Tassaduq Hussain, Sofi Abdul Gaffar, Nizam-ud-Din Bhat, Aasiya Naqash, Firdous Ahmad Tak, Mohammad Khursheed Alam and Muhammad Yusuf Bhat.

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Madni was released from a six-month-long preventive detention on Saturday, hours after Mehbooba received the invitation, over phone, for the meeting.

While Veeri and PDP chief spokesperson Syed Suhail Bukhari were present physically in the meeting at Gupkar, other leaders joined the deliberations virtually, a party leader said.

The prime minister’s meeting with all political parties from Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the Union Territory.

Invitations were sent out to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, for participation in a high-level meeting to be chaired by the prime minister, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections in the Union Territory.

These leaders of eight political parties, the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party, were telephonically invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the prime minister’s residence at 3 pm on Thursday.

This will be the Prime Minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated the state’s special status and bifurcated it into Union Territories. The erstwhile state has been under the Centre’s rule since November 2018.

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The National Conference, PDP and the Congress on Saturday said they will take a call on attending a meeting with the prime minister in Delhi after deliberations within their respective parties.

The BJP and the Altaf Bukhari-led Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party have confirmed their participation in the meeting, while five, NC, PDP, Congress, Peoples Conference and CPI(M), will take a call after intra-party deliberations.

The meeting, the first such exercise since the Centre announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into union territories in August 2019, is likely to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders.

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