Crowds wait at Katra for Rahul Gandhi to begin yatra to the Vaishno Devi shrine, where he will walk on foot from Katra.
Jammu & Kashmir: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reaches Mata Vaishno Devi temple; says, “I have come here to offer prayers to the Mata. I don’t want to make any political comments here.”
Jammu & Kashmir: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reaches Mata Vaishno Devi temple; says, "I have come here to offer prayers to the Mata. I don't want to make any political comments here." https://t.co/OnDlHQqw4j pic.twitter.com/7teI5gxkY7
— ANI (@ANI) September 9, 2021
Vaishno Devi is amongst the most revered Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. Nestled in the Trikuta Hills in Jammu, the cave temple of Goddess Vaishno Devi, who is the manifestation of Goddess Parvati or Shakti is said to be the abode of 33 Hindu gods.
Congress releases a video of Rahul Gandhi’s arrival at Katra with a massive welcome from the people of Jammu and Congress workers in Jammu tweeting, “Rahul Gandhi receives immense support from the citizens of Jammu & Congress party workers as he proceeds on his Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.
Shri @RahulGandhi receives immense support from the citizens of Jammu & Congress party workers as he proceeds on his Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.#RahulVaishnoDeviYatra pic.twitter.com/kgRfCPa8TH
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 9, 2021
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee President Mir said that Rahul Gandhi has special faith in the holy temple and he wanted to visit Vishno Devi Temple for the past many years.
“We have been asking Rahul Gandhi for the past three years. He also wanted to come, but the political situation was such that he cannot visit. Now that the situation has slightly improved, he visited Srinagar last month and will visit Jammu on September 9 and September 10. The first this he will do is that he will pay obeisance to Mata Vaishno Devi,” said Mr Mir to ANI news.
“Though many leaders visit the holy temple, they use choppers and horses. We believe Rahul Gandhi has made his mind that he will walk on foot from Katra to the temple, pay obeisance, and participate in the Arti. The next day he will again come down on foot. He has special faith in Mata Vishno Devi, that is why we have not scheduled any political engagements for him on the first day of his visit,” he added.
Further informing about Mr Gandhi’s political engagements in Jammu, Mr Mir said from Katra, the Wayanad MP will go to Jammu by car and attend a small party function there.
Gaurav Pandhi Youth Congress leader and National Coordinator tweeted, “
Waiting for Shri @RahulGandhi to arrive and begin the yatra. Enthusiastic crowd at the Darshani Gate, the starting point of Yatra in Katra. Jai Mata Di! #RahulVaishnoDeviYatra pic.twitter.com/Yv43lVSDsc
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) September 9, 2021
“We have not stopped any Congress worker to organize small programmes to welcome Gandhi on his way to Jammu from Katra. After the party function in Jammu, Gandhi will also interact with some local party leaders,” he said.
Mr Mir further apprised ANI that after this short visit to Jammu, Rahul Gandhi is also planning to visit Ladakh.
“He also plans to visit all districts after the situation is better in the areas and try to highlight the people of problems on the ground,” he added.
Notably, this will be Rahul Gandhi’s second visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Earlier, he visited the union territory on August 9.
During his last visit, Rahul Gandhi inaugurated the new party office in Srinagar. He also visited Kheer Bhawani temple and Hazrat Dargah Sharif.
Looking back, on August 5, 2019, the Centre had abrogated Article 370 which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two territories– Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.