SRINAGAR: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will oppose any suggestion by leaders of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Deceleration (PAGD) to restore Article 370 in their meeting with PM Narendra Modi on Thursday, BJP leader and former deputy chief minister of J&K, Nirmal Singh, told Kashmir Reader.
“They do have the right to speak, but we will oppose it. One should talk about the future and not about the past,” he said.
He said the BJP’s plan for the meeting is to take JK further away from the pre-August 5 position. The BJP will talk about the political process, delimitation, and statehood, Singh said.
Bhim Singh, founder and president of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), told Kashmir Reader that the party will talk about statehood and delimitation in the meeting. About Article 370, the party will speak its views after the meeting, he added.
“We will talk about Article 370 after the meeting,” Bhim Singh said.
Against this, the PAGD has clarified that their participation in the meeting will revolve around the restoration of Article 370.
Asked whether it was international pressure which made the PM willing to speak to JK leaders two years after Aug 5, Nirmal Singh said, “There is no such thing as pressure. We have defeated enemies like China and Pakistan. It is just the appropriate time to talk. Prime Minister sahab had already promised it from the ramparts of the Red Fort. There is nothing new about it.”
But for a PAGD leader, the story is something else. Member of Parliament from the National Conference, Hasnain Masoodi, said he believes that the meeting is due to realisation on the part of New Delhi that nothing has changed in JK post August 5.
“Encounters still happen, political leaders remain imprisoned, and those who were elected in municipal elections are not allowed to reach out to people. It is the same old story. There have been meetings at the global level, too, about Kashmir,” Masoodi told Kashmir Reader.
Two Jammu-based parties along with twelve other leaders, including former chief ministers and party presidents, have been invited to the meeting that will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi on June 24. Those invited include Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah, Sajad Lone, Altaf Bukhari, Ravinder Raina, GA Mir, MY Tarigami, Bhim Singh, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, Tara Chand, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta. The BJP will have the highest representation in the meeting.