Srinagar: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he feels like “coming home” when he visits the Kashmir Valley as he pitched for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood before holding assembly elections.
Addressing his party workers after inaugurating a new party headquarters here, a visibly emotional Gandhi said, “My family lives in Delhi. Before that my family lived in Allahabad. And before Allahabad, my family lived here.”
“I can tell you that I understand you, my family must have drank water from the river Jhelum. Kashmiriyat, the culture and thought process must be in me too. When I come here, I feel like I am coming home,” he said, while referring to his family ties to Kashmir and added that he had come with a message of love and respect.
Gandhi, a former Congress president, said that there was an urgent need for restoration of statehood before holding the assembly elections. “Statehood should be restored and then the democratic process should be started, that is election (to state assembly),” he said.
Before the event, Gandhi offered prayers at the Mata Kheer Bhawani shrine, the revered shrine of Kashmiri Pandits, in Ganderbal in central Kashmir.PTI