Farooq Abdullah calls meeting of J&K opposition leaders on October 3

The gathering will take place at 2:30 pm at Abdullah's residence in Jammu

Members of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration address a press conference after their meeting at Bathindi in Jammu | PTI Members of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration address a press conference (File)

Former Chief Minister and MP Farooq Abdullah has scheduled a meeting of opposition leaders in Jammu on October 3. 

The meeting, organised by the chief spokesperson of the Abdullah-led Gupkar alliance, M Y Tarigami, seeks to address the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The gathering will take place at 2:30 pm at Abdullah's residence in Jammu. 

It assumes importance in light of the impending decision on the Article 370 petition by the Supreme Court, expected by mid-October.

The hearing on petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 commenced on August 2nd and concluded on September 6th. 

Following arguments from both sides, the five-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, has reserved judgment. 

One of the five judges is set to retire in December, prompting the early announcement of the judgment.

The opposition's meeting occurs amid reports of the postponement of grassroots polls, including municipal, panchayat, urban local bodies, and block development councils, until the 2024 Lok Sabha polls are held.

These reports about the postponement of the polls emerged following a two-day meeting of BJP leaders held on September 26th in Delhi, addressing northern states, including Jammu and Kashmir, regarding preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The meeting was attended by senior BJP leaders JP Nadda, Amit Shah, and Dr Jitendra Singh and senior party leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. 

Discussions during the meeting centred on the security situation, particularly in light of the Kokernag incident, which resulted in the loss of two army officers, one J&K police officer, and a soldier, marking a significant operation lasting seven days, the longest in over a decade in Kashmir.

While there is no official confirmation regarding the postponement of local elections, rumours suggesting delays in all elections, including assembly polls, until after the Lok Sabha elections, have raised concerns among opposition parties.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under Central rule since June 2018 following the collapse of the BJP-PDP coalition government. In December 2018, the Centre imposed President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir. 

In August 2019, the BJP revoked Article 370, leading to the division of the former state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Centre has linked the restoration of statehood to the completion of delimitation and subsequent elections. Delimitation has already been completed, while elections have been long overdue.

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