On day one of his two-day visit to Jammu, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday refused to give any political statement while he was on his way to visit the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.
"No political statement today. I am here only to perform darshan of the holy shrine", Rahul Gandhi told reporters at Katra - the base camp of the holy shrine. He refused to give any political statement during the pilgrimage.
Just after reaching Jammu on a two-day visit, Rahul Gandhi straightway went to Katra to start Yatra on foot to the famous cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in the Trikuta hills of Reasi district. Congress leader was accorded a rousing reception at the Jammu airport by party workers and leaders.
"Though many leaders visit the holy temple, they use choppers and horses. We believe Rahul Gandhi has made his mind that he will walk on foot from Katra to the temple, pay obeisance, and participate in the Arti. The next day he will again come down on foot. He has special faith in Mata Vishno Devi, that is why we have not scheduled any political engagements for him on the first day of his visit,", J&K Congress Committee chief G A Mir said.
Second visit to Rahul Gandhi in J&K during one month
This will be Rahul Gandhi's second visit to Jammu and Kashmir within a month. He was in Srinagar on August 9 and 10 when he inaugurated the party's new office in the city. He addressed party workers at Srinagar and interacted with some prominent citizens.
Rahul Gandhi visited J&K on August 9 for the first time, after the abrogation of articles 370 and 35-A, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two Union Territories (UTs).
During the first visit to J&K, on August 9, Rahul Gandhi had visited famous the Kheer Bhawani temple in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir and the Dargah Hazratbal shrine on the banks of the Dal Lake and prayed.
Gandhi had called for the restoration of statehood to Jammu & Kashmir, and the conduct of free and fair elections in the Union territory without any delay.
Rahul to address party workers on Friday
After returning from the holy shrine, Rahul Gandhi will interact with party workers at Jammu on Friday. After an interaction with the senior party leaders over lunch, he will return to Delhi by the 3.30 pm flight.
Mir informed that after this short visit to Jammu, Rahul Gandhi is also planning to visit Ladakh. "He also plans to visit all districts after the situation is better in the areas and try to highlight the people of problems on the ground," he added.