New Delhi, August 23: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday along with eleven other opposition leaders across party lines. This comes weeks after the Centre abrogated Article 370, the special status given to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
On August 13, Rahul had accepted an “invitation” extended by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to visit the region, which is currently under an unprecedented security cover. Responding to Malik’s statement wherein he said that he would send an aircraft for the former Congress chief to visit Jammu and Kashmir and see the prevailing situation for himself, Rahul said that instead of the aircraft, he would need “freedom” to travel and meet people.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, the Gandhi scion shared a report where Malik was quoted as saying that he had invited Rahul to the Valley. The Congress leader tweeted that he would accept the “gracious invitation” and would want to meet common people, political leaders and soldiers deployed.
The parties that will accompany Congress are Trinamool Congress (TMC), CPI-M, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), CPI, DMK, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal (Secular) and Samajwadi Party (SP).
Opposition leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechuri, D Raja, Manoj Jha, Anand Sharma, D Kupendra Reddy, Majeed Memon, KC Venugopal, Tiruchi Siva, Sharad Yadav, and Dinesh Trivedi will be part of the delegation. The leaders will board a Vistara flight from the national capital at 11.50 am.
This will be Azad’s third attempt to enter the newly formed Union Territory (UT) as he was detained earlier on two occasions. On August 20, he was detained at the Jammu Airport in Jammu and Kashmir and on August 8, he was detained at the Srinagar Airport.