The Congress decided to attend the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, with its leader GA Mir asserting that the restoration of full statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be its “priority number one”.
The decision to attend the deliberations with the prime minister was taken at a meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, according to the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit spokesperson Ravinder Sharma.
The Congress meeting was attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders Karan Singh, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rajni Patil, G A Mir and Tariq Hameed Karra, the spokesperson said.
“Congress will keep restoration of full statehood on priority number one irrespective of the agenda of the meeting,” said Mir, who is among the 14 invitees from Jammu and Kashmir along with party colleague and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
“We will try to convince him (PM) to restore full statehood…. All parties who are taking part in the meeting are facing huge public pressure for restoration of statehood,” he said. Mir said that no official agenda has been conveyed to them.
“They should have conveyed the agenda of the meeting,” he added.
The meeting is the first such exercise since the Centre announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and its bifurcation into union territories on August 5, 2019.
According to officials, the prime minister’s scheduled meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the union territory.