Rahul’s takeaway from Kashmir: Naedir Monje

SRINAGAR: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi  while passing through Budshah Chowk Friday made a surprise stop over at a local vendor.

“Just after leaving the Congress party office (at M A Road here) for airport, Rahul ji expressed a desire to visit Lal Chowk, so the cavalcade made a u-turn at Jehangir Chowk and halted at Budshah Chowk, Pradesh Congress Committee President G A Mir said.

“Rahul had tea, pakoras and Bakirkhani (local bread) at the vendor. He also bought potato chips and ‘nadermunji’ (the famous Kashmiri snacks made from lotus stems) from the vendor and took them home,” Mir said.

Besides Mir Congress general secretary and J&K Incharge Ambika Soni was accompanying the Gandhi scion.

“His vehicle suddenly stopped outside my stall and he walked inside,” said Farooq Ahmad, a tea vendor. “He asked to make a tea and stayed for around 7-8 minutes.” Ahmad said the Gandhi’s security personnel also handed money to him. “His security man came and handed two hundred rupees to me,” he said. “A lady (Ambika Soni) came to me and told me inko achi se roti dena chai ke sath (give him fresh bread along with the tea).”

 Soon after the Congress Vice-President entered the tea stall, the shopkeepers and pedestrians gathered near the tea shop and started clicking pictures of him. 

Earlier, the Congress Vice-President visited  Congress headquarters in Srinagar, where he interacted with the staff and the workers. 

Sources said that the visit to the state office was not scheduled and it was only decided after Rahul Gandhi showed his interest to visit the office on late Thursday evening. 

“It was not in the itinerary, but Rahul ji wanted to visit the office and interact with the staff and the workers,” said a congress leader. “He wanted the see the office as it was damaged because of the floods last year. He stayed for around fifteen minutes and then left for the airport.”

According to a state Congress spokesman, Rahul Gandhi also visited Khir Bhawani at Tulmulla in Central Kashmir and Hazratbal shrine to pay obeisance. He also visited Bal Ashram at Ishber in the city, to interact with children. 

On Thursday, while addressing the saffron growers at Pampore, Rahul Gandhi had said that his ancestors belong to Kashmir and the visit is like homecoming for him. 

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