‘I feel I have come home,’ Rahul Gandhi says after visit to Vaishno Devi

Congress leader invokes his Kashmiri Pandit heritage during two-day visit to Jammu

Congress supporters greet Rahul Gandhi at Jammu airport on Thursday | Photo: Twitter/@INCJammuKashmir)

Rahul Gandhi on Friday said “I feel I have come home” following a visit to Vaishno Devi temple, in Jammu.

The Congress leader, who was on a two-day visit to Jammu, invoked his Kashmiri Pandit heritage while addressing an event. 

“I feel I have come home. My family has a long relationship with Jammu and Kashmir,” Gandhi said.

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“I’m a Kashmiri Pandit and my family is Kashmiri Pandit. Today morning, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits met me. They told me that Congress implemented many welfare schemes for them, but BJP has done nothing,” he said.

The Congress leader promised to do “something” for his “Kashmiri Pandit brothers”, adding he was going to Ladakh as well.

“J&K has a special place in my heart but I’m pained also. There is brotherhood in J&K but the BJP and RSS are trying to break the bond of that brotherhood.”

Gandhi showed his palm (Congress symbol) to the crowd and said: “Hand means daro mat [don’t be afraid]. You can see the hand in pictures of Lord Shiva and Wahe Guru.”

He attacked the BJP and said the party has weakened Jammu and Kashmir. “Your statehood was snatched from you. J&K should get back its statehood.”

Gandhi was given a rousing reception at the Jammu airport on his arrival earlier in the day and Congress members, including top leaders, welcomed him with beats of dholaks.

On Thursday, Gandhi visited Vaishno Devi. He reached the shrine after undertaking a 13-km-long yatra on foot through the Trikuta hills from Katra basecamp, said party leaders.

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