he leaders of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Sunday met in the summer capital, Srinagar, ahead of the four-day visit of Delimitation Commission to J&K from July 6.
Sources said that a meeting of the PAGD leaders was held here in the residence of its chairman and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Gupkar road. “The meeting was attended by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and CPI(M) senior leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami,” they said.
A discussion was held about the four-day visit of Delimitation Commission to J&K. “A detailed discussion was also held to get the views of the leaders about whether to participate in the delimitation process or not,” they added.
However, after the meeting was concluded, the leaders didn’t speak to media and left for their respective residences on Gupkar road.
The Delimitation Commission would interact with District Election Officers (DEOs) of all 20 districts of the Union territory and leaders of the political parties.
Sources said J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer has invited political parties, including NC, PDP, Apni Party, Peoples Conference, Congress, Awami National Conference (ANC), CPI(M), BJP and National Panthers Party (NPP) to interact with the Commission.
The PAGD earlier this week cancelled its meeting at the residence of Dr Abdullah on Monday, stating that Ms Mehbooba, who is the Vice Chairperson of PAGD, had some personal engagement.
It would be the Commission’s first visit to J&K after it was formed in March last year to carve out more Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory after the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A, besides bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two UTs. The visit of the commission to J&K holds significance as it comes about two weeks after 14 political leaders from J&K participated in an All Party Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narandra Modi last month in New Delhi.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said that the Assembly elections will be held soon after the Delimitation process is completed in J&K. However, the PAGD leaders are demanding that the delimitation process should be followed by restoration of statehood and then only Assembly election should be held.
Currently, J&K has 83 Assembly seats – 47 in Kashmir and 36 in Jammu. Once the delimitation process is completed, the Assembly seats will increase to 90.