Rahul Gandhi: Age-old Ties With Kashmir

27 April 2009
The Indian Express

Anantnag: A nostalgic Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday invoked his family, especially his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's, affection with Kashmir to strike a chord with locals in Anantnag. Sharing the dais with his friend and state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at an election rally, 39-year-old Gandhi, while reaching out to the youth of the valley, said his family had age-old ties with the state. 'I have a family relation with the state. I remember coming here as a young child accompanying my grandmother (Indira Gandhi) just six-seven days before her death. I remember how much love she had for this state,' Gandhi, wearing a traditional Kashmiri cap (karkuli), said. He said his great grandfather and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had strong ties with Omar's grandfather Sheikh Abdullah. The young Gandhi, however, refrained from making a mention of Rajiv-Farooq accord. Extending his hands to the crowd, he said, 'I have not come here as a politician. I am a youth and I want to be friends with the Kashmiri youths.' He said the people of Kashmir are free to come and meet him in Delhi on any issue and he will ensure the state develops.