Omar Abdullah: PM Modi has made the first step, but we have a long way to go | Exclusive

National Conference chief and former J&Ok CM Omar Abdullah stated the PM has made the first step with the assembly with J&Ok leaders, but we have a long way to go. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of full statehood. This was after a 3.5-hour ice-breaker assembly in Delhi with leaders of J&Ok events, the first since Article 370 was repealed in 2019.

India Today TV Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai spoke to National Conference chief and former Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah, who stated the PM has made the first step with the meeting with J&K leaders, but we have a long way to go.

Q: What did you speak about?

We talked about every little thing. We talked about the disconnect between the folks of J&Ok and the remainder of the nation. We talked about the concerted efforts being made to add to this distrust fairly than to bridge it. We talked about our unwillingness to settle for the unilateral modifications pressured on J&Ok on August 5, 2019. We reiterated our dedication to utilizing peaceable, constitutional and authorized means to have this transformation overturned. And we got here to pay attention to the Prime Minister. We needed to hear what the Prime Minister had to say vis-à-vis his outlook for what the subsequent steps in J&Ok shall be.

READ: Delimitation, holding of polls in J&K important milestones in restoring statehood: Amit Shah

Q: What has modified? Has the belief deficit been bridged?

It hasn’t. But the first step has to be made someplace. And the Prime Minister has made the first step. Nothing has modified in our stand. Nor was altering our stand a precondition to this discuss. Because if it had been, this discuss wouldn’t have taken place. We weren’t requested to drop our calls for for rolling again what occurred on August 5, 2019. We weren’t requested to withdraw our case from the Supreme Court. We weren’t requested to cease our opposition to what had been accomplished to J&Ok in 2019. So so far as we’re involved, nothing in our stand modified in anyway. We got here and we put precisely these factors in entrance of the Prime Minister. And in all equity to the Prime Minister, he didn’t cease us from talking; he didn’t interrupt us when we spoke. Those who received a likelihood to communicate, spoke freely and stated some issues that maybe wouldn’t have been very nice listening for the representatives of the authorities of India. But they heard us out patiently. And that’s nearly as good as we can count on at this second.

Q: Delhi isn’t prepared to concede your demand for statehood…

I’m sorry, but who stated Delhi isn’t contemplating our demand for statehood? None of us sitting in that assembly received that impression. We have been instructed statehood can be restored. I have come again from the assembly with two distinct impressions. That the authorities of India could be very eager to maintain early elections to restore elected, in style authorities to J&Ok. And the authorities of India could be very eager to restore statehood to the people of J&K.

Q: Were you given a roadmap, or do you imagine that will require extra conferences?

Well, clearly, you don’t count on every little thing to be rolled out in the very first assembly. This is the first time most of us have met the Prime Minister in virtually two years. There is a long way to go in direction of addressing a few of the distance and hole. As the Prime Minister himself stated Dilli se doori and dil ki doori. There is a lot of that, even inside the 4 partitions of the assembly corridor this afternoon. So I don’t suppose anyone anticipated that one assembly would resolve every little thing.

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Q: I’m getting from you a particular sense of softening in direction of the Prime Minister…

That’s your personal impression.

Q: Is the anger over now?

I don’t put on my coronary heart on my sleeve. I’m who I’m. Those who received to communicate, left no stone unturned to let the Prime Minister know precisely how they felt about how the folks of J&Ok and particularly how we have been handled after August 5, 2019.

Q: Can you give me a direct quote?

No, I’m not going to provide you with direct quotes. We have been invited by the Prime Minister to communicate. We spoke to the Prime Minister. We spoke what we had to.

Q: Just six months in the past, Amit Shah described you and another events as Gupkar gang and anti-nationals…

The house minister of India didn’t name us Gupkar gang on this assembly. The house minister heard us out patiently, didn’t interrupt, listened to no matter we had to say. It’s a good starting.

Q: Will restoration of Article 370 be a precondition to holding elections?

It’s pointless to ask the Narendra Modi authorities to restore Article 370 when they’re the architects of taking it away. Our combat for the restoration of Article 370 will happen in the Supreme Court. We will take it to its logical conclusion.

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WATCH: First visuals of PM Modi’s meeting with J&K leaders

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