SRINAGAR: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday questioned the Centre’s decision of scrapping statehood from Jammu and Kashmir while adding that the “autocratic” move has “disreputed” the nation.
Briefing media persons, Banerjee said, “What was the need to scrap the statehood in Jammu and Kashmir? People need freedom. Scrapping statehood did not help the country instead it impacted tourism in Jammu and Kashmir for the last two years. Further, it also disreputed the nation. The country has been disreputed not just because of the vaccine but also for this autocracy of the Centre.”
The high-profile all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir began at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, Prime Minister’s official residence in Delhi on Thursday afternoon.
As many as 14 prominent leaders from the Union Territory are attending the meeting.
This is the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Among the leaders who are participating in the meeting are Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and GA Mir; National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari; BJP’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh, and Kavinder Gupta; CPI(M)’s M Y Tarigami; National Panthers Party’s Prof Bhim Singh; and Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.