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In a first, J&K L-G invites regional parties for high tea

Manoj Sinha

Manoj Sinha | Photo Credit: PTI

J&K Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday extended an invitation to the regional parties, in a first major attempt by the Raj Bhawan in the Union Territory (UT) to reach out to local players since J&K’s constitutional status was ended in 2019.

The Raj Bhawan invite, according to the leaders, mentions no agenda except for seeking their participation for a “high tea”. Top leaders of the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Peoples Conference (PC) and the Apni Party (AP) were among those invited.

Sources said the meeting’s main focus is the Amarnath yatra and the likely role of the local leaders to ensure a peaceful and smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage, which will officially start from June 30 in the Kashmir Valley’s central and south districts. 

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, who attended the meeting, said that no unusual hype should be given to the yatra, which is going on for centuries with the help of locals.

Besides Dr. Abdullah and Bukhari, Congress president G.A. Mir, BJP J&K State president Ravinder Raina, chairman Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Yaseen and State president JD(U) G.M. Shaheen attended the high tea.

"The meeting was about how to make the Amarnath Yatra better as it has resumed after around two years," Mr. Mir said.

The L-G administration made a detailed presentation on how the arrangements made for the Yatra this year. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti skipped the meeting.

The previous meeting between the leaders of the Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which includes NC and PDP, and the L-G was held on May 16 amidst growing targeted attacks on members of minority communities. The meeting was initiated by the Gupkar alliance then.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 3:30:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-a-first-jk-l-g-invites-regional-parties-for-high-tea-abdullah-to-attend-mehbooba-to-skip/article65581885.ece