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Rahul Gandhi to leave for 12-day pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar on Friday

Addressing a ‘Jan Aakrosh’ rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on April 29, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had announced his intent to take a 15-day break from politics to enable him to go on pilgrimage.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2018 20:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Kailash Mansarovar,Congress
Rahul Gandhi is leaving for Kathmandu on August 31 for onward journey to Kailash Mansarovar, and is expected to return on September 12, a Congress leader said.(PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will leave on Friday for a 12-day pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar to fulfil a vow he took while campaigning in Karnataka during the assembly elections earlier this year.

“Gandhi is leaving for Kathmandu (Nepal) on August 31 for onward journey to Kailash Mansarovar. He is expected to return on September 12,” said a Congress functionary aware of his travel plan.

Addressing a ‘Jan Aakrosh’ rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on April 29, the Congress president announced his intent to take a 15-day break from politics to enable him to go on the pilgrimage.

Gandhi then narrated the incident of a technical snag in a chartered aircraft that was carrying him to Karnataka. The incident happened during landing of the flight from New Delhi at Hubballi in north Karnataka on April 26.

“Two-three days ago when I was going to Karnataka, the plane nosedived 8,000 feet and I thought it’s all over. As I thought that, it struck me that I wanted to go to Kailash Mansarovar,” he told a gathering of Congress workers.

The polling in Karnataka was held on May 12 and the results were declared on May 15. The Congress is part of the JD(S)-led alliance that governs the state.

Kailash Mansarovar is a mountain peak located near Manasarovar lake in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and is considered holy by the Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva. It also holds religious significance for Jains and Buddhists. The Kailash Mansarovar yatra is undertaken by hundreds of pilgrims every year.

Soon after the incident of the plane, the Congress alleged “intentional tampering” and demanded a probe into the “suspicious and faulty performance” of the 10-seater Falcon 2000 aircraft. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has already initiated a probe into the incident.

Hindustan Times learns that the ministry of external affairs has received Gandhi’s request for political clearance and that it is under process.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 19:52 IST