Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be the first leader of any national party to visit Balakote along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, where six people were killed in shelling by Pakistan on August 15.
It will be his first visit to the state after the formation of the PDP-BJP government and also the first after GA Mir was appointed Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president.
“The Congress has always cared for the border residents and the visit of Rahul reinforces the point,” said Congress spokesperson Ravinder Sharma.
Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to fly to Balakote and will meet border residents and families of the deceased. It will be also the first visit of the Congress vice-president in this remote area of the state.
The Congress has won just one out of the seven seats in the Rajouri-Poonch districts. The party had in the past had been a major political force in these two districts.
The Congress vice-president is also likely to meet refugees settled in Jammu and also interact with panchayat members. The Congress in the outgoing NC-Congress coalition government had aggressively pursued the case of one-time financial assistance to the families affected by 1965 and 1971 wars. The party had also sought an assistance of `25 lakh to each family of the PoK refugees and the cabinet approval was also sent to the Centre, but no headway was made on this count.
The Congress had also pressurized the National Conference to incorporate provisions of the 73rd constitutional amendment, which mandates reservations for SC/ST and women in the panchayati raj institutions.
“Rahul Gandhi had made a personal intervention in the matter to ensure that the 73rd amendment is incorporated in letter and spirit. In his interaction with panches and sarpanches, he will enquire about the progress made on devolution of power,” said the Congress spokesperson.