Ganderbal, Aug 25: Congress leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Rahul Gandhi Friday said in Kargil that he wanted to listen to the people’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ instead of his own ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Addressing a public rally at Khree Sultan Chow Sports Stadium in Kargil where a large number of people, particularly Congress workers had assembled to listen to him, Gandhi said, "Other leaders are busy doing their 'Mann Ki Baat'. I thought of listening to your 'Mann Ki Baat'. One thing is quite clear - Gandhiji and the ideology of Congress is in Ladakh's blood and DNA."
On the last leg of his Ladakh tour, Gandhi said that his Ladakh visit was a small step in continuation of his ‘Bharat JodoYatra’, which had started from Kanyakumari and concluded in Kashmir.
"We started the ‘Bharat JodoYatra’ from Kanyakumari and it reached Kashmir. At that time, the administration didn't allow us to take the yatra to Ladakh in view of winter and weather conditions and we accepted it," he said.
Gandhi said that this time, he thought it was important to visit Ladakh and it was a small step in continuation of the ‘Bharat JodoYatra’ though we undertook it on motorcycle.
"I visited every corner of Ladakh and met people including labourers from different parts of the country who are working in Ladakh. I interacted with them and all of them told me that they are staying thousands of kilometers away from their homes but they feel Ladakh is like another home to them. They said that people of Ladakh always help them because that nature is in your DNA," he said.
Gandhi said that Congress stands with the people of Ladakh for the protection of their land, culture, and rights.
He said that he had listened to the people in Ladakh and the major concern was the people's representation, unemployment of youth, and inflation.
Gandhi said that China had taken a large area of land in Ladakh.
Congress General Secretary and Incharge J&K Rajni Patel, Congress Ladakh Working President Asgar Ali Karbalaie, and National Conference (NC) leader Qamar Ali Akhoon were also present on the occasion.
Sources said that former chief minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah could not visit Kargil to attend Gandhi’s rally due to some prior-scheduled engagements.
Gandhi also visited the Kargil War Memorial in Drass and paid tributes to the Indian Army personnel who died in the line of duty during the 1999 Kargil War.
“Kargil is not just a place, it is a saga of valour. It is the land many of our soldiers served in and resonates with their courage and sacrifice. This is the pride of India and all Indians realise their sense of responsibility towards the country. I bow to all the brave soldiers and martyrs of Kargil War,” Gandhi wrote on his social media accounts.
Gandhi arrived in Leh initially on a two-day visit on August 17 but later extended his stay by a week, touring almost all-important locations in the cold desert region on his motorcycle.
He rode his motorcycle from Leh to Pangong Lake, Nubra, Khardungla Top, Lamayuru, Zanskar, and Kargil.
Later in the day, Gandhi returned to Srinagar by road before halting at Sonamarg to meet Congress workers, concluding his nine-day tour of Ladakh.
Sources said that in Srinagar, his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi would join Gandhi where they would stay for next two days.