Better Late Than Never

Inviting J&K leaders for talks at New-Delhi
Better Late Than Never
Camera | Edit: Khan Mudasir

Fourteen leaders from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir have been invited by the Home Ministry for a meeting with the Prime Minster Narendra Modi. Schedule to be held on June 24th, 2021 at his residence in New-Delhi. There is no known agenda or publicly announced set preconditions for it. The leaders who have been called up for the said upcoming meeting have chosen to remain silent about it. Those right now close to New-Delhi than the rest of those close to it in the past have openly expressed their willingness to participate in the said meeting while as the others have said that they will do so only after holding of an inter party discussion on the issue.

This is the first meeting of its kind held by the New-Delhi after abrogation of Article 370 on August 5th, 2019 and putting up of most of these leaders behind the bars for months together. What will be the outcome of the meeting is hard for anyone to guess. But what can be said for certain is that reversing of the actions taken by the central government unilaterally on August 5th, 2019 can no way be on the table for bargain.

Then all that can be expected to happen is that all the stake holders invited to meeting may call for doing away with the union territory status and the restoration back of a statehood because that is what was promised by the Home Minster Amit Shah when a bill for reorganization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was placed before the parliament and passed without much of a hue and cry from anyone whatsoever.

The parties like Peoples Conference and Apni Party have already made their proximity with the centre known and are ready to work for it in any situation or circumstances. However, the parties like National Conference and PDP and Congress are facing a dilemma. They need to figure out and put their act together to regain the public sympathy and support needed to sail through as and when elections to the next assembly may be held.

Going to polls is going to be tough and not an easy walk for any party or leadership on either side as they are going to find it hard to make people to reconcile to the new situations created by the events of the past two-three years now.

What has actually prompted the union government suddenly now to take up an initiative like this and reach out to these leaders is not clear at the moment? But that is of no concern whatsoever for the present dispensation as long it serves their long standing agenda and stance on the issue. However, some attribute it to the recent defeat in the West Bengal assembly elections. Some to the prospect of a possible defeat in the forthcoming crucial UP assembly elections as that is going to set the national mood for the next parliamentary elections to be held in 2024.

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