By: Zaffar Iqbal
Srinagar: Former J&K Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh said on Wednesday that this is not the right time to raise the issue of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh is among the 14 mainstream leaders who have been invited to an all-party meeting on J&K to be held in the national capital on Thursday. The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The meeting is seen as the first major outreach move by the Centre to end the political impasse in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 and the splitting of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
Singh said the BJP welcomes the meeting, which is a golden opportunity for the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir to put forth their views before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“This is not the right time to raise the issue of statehood (for J&K),” Singh said, adding that the democratic process must begin in Jammu and Kashmir and the delimitation of constituencies must be completed.
“We want the long-pending issues to be addressed such as representation of PoJK refugees, Kashmiri migrants, West Pakistani refugees, STs and other deprived sections of the society,” Singh said.
“In the past, the National Conference had said that there has been no discussion on the autonomy resolution passed in the J&K Assembly. The Central government is clear that such issues can’t be discussed, the country won’t agree to it,” Singh said.
He also said that talks must held for the participation of the people in the democratic process and for giving due representation to the deprived sections of Jammu and Kashmir for their share in the electoral process.