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Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir tomorrow

india Updated: Oct 03, 2012 18:57 IST
Toufiq Rashid

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to arrive in Srinagar on a two-day visit on October 4.

Rahul Gandhi will lay the foundation stone of the ambitious 13-km-long Zojila tunnel project, and will also address the National Executive Committee meeting of the Youth Congress in Srinagar.

He will address public rallies in Leh and Kargil. He is likely to hold a Panchayat conference in the valley too.

JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz who called for empowerment of Panchayats through adoption of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendment by the state expects Rahul Gandhi to raise the pitch.

"We did not get any response from the CM so we want Rahul ji to interfere,'' said Soz.

Gandhi's visit is also important as the coalition partners are trying to douse rumours of differences between Rahul Gandhi and chief minister Omar Abdullah.

"Have to love the media's priorities when my imaginary battle with Rahul is more important than what the President (Pranab Mukherjee) says in Kashmir," Omar posted on Twitter.

Media reports claimed Rahul was unhappy with Omar's handling of the situation after two Sarpanchs were killed by suspected militants this month, leading to mass resignation.

The speculations were fulled by Rahul's rare gesture to go public with his concern over the killing of grassroot representatives. "It is a serious devevelopment and they (public representatives) should be provided security," Rahul had said in Delhi.

Rahul's statement was followed by a delegation of frightened grassroots representaives meeting him in New Delhi on September 27.

Omar in Srinagar reacted by saying he had no reservation with public representatives meeting Rahul. "If they want to share their concern with New Delhi, I cannot stop it," said Omar.