J&K LG invites top leaders for meeting ahead of Amarnath yatra

Updated on Jun 29, 2022 02:46 PM IST

Jammu & Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha’s invitation to political leaders comes a day before the Amarnath yatra begins. It also comes after defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement earlier this month indicating that the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir could be held by the end of the year

This is the first time J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has invited top leaders of the union territory for a meeting after he assumed charge in August 2020. (File Photo/HT)
This is the first time J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has invited top leaders of the union territory for a meeting after he assumed charge in August 2020. (File Photo/HT)
ByMir Ehsan Khaliq

Jammu & Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has invited political leaders of the union territory for a meeting at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar on Wednesday evening, people familiar with the matter said. The current situation in J&K and the Amarnath yatra, scheduled to begin on Thursday, are likely to be discussed in the meeting, they added though there is no official word on the agenda of the meeting.

The invitation has been extended to top leaders including National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, chairman of the Peoples Conference, Sajjad Lone, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Ravinder Raina, Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M), general secretary Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami and other leaders.

“For a meeting in the evening that is supposed to be a serious affair, the invitation is sent in the morning. What a mockery! By the way what happened to the outcome of the all-parties meeting chaired by @PMOIndiain which @OfficeOfLGJandK and @HMOIndia was also present?” tweeted PDP chief spokesman Suhail Bukhari. He, however didn’t reveal whether Mehbooba Mufti will attend the meeting or not.

BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur confirmed that the party head has received the invitation for the meeting with the lieutenant governor

“Present political scenario and yatra is on the agenda of today’s meeting,” he said.

Sinha on Wednesday morning flagged off the first batch of pilgrims for the annual Amarnath Yatra from the Yatri Niwas base camp at Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu for their onward journey to the Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Kashmir. The pilgrimage resumes after two years and the presence of a three-level security will ensure smooth pilgrimage for the yatris in the entire route including mountains in the south and central Kashmir.

This is the first time when top leaders have been invited by J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha after he assumed charge in August 2020. After the killing of Kashmiri migrant employee Rahul Bhat at Chadoora in Budgam in May, the leaders of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) had met the lieutenant governor at Rajbhawan demanding security for the migrant pandit employees.

Today’s meeting also assumes significance as it comes after defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement earlier this month where he indicated that the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir could be held by the end of the year after the delimitation process was completed in the union territory.

The panel, that was tasked to redraw the boundaries of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, concluded the delimitation exercise on May 5, paving way for the much-awaited assembly polls in the Valley.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah had met top leaders from J&K on June 24 last year in a first such meeting after the 2019 abrogation of Article 370 that gave the erstwhile state its special status and the mandate to define its domicile rules.

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