Rahul reaches Pangong, extends Ladakh visit

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Aug 19: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today rode a motorcycle from Leh to Pangong Lake in the Union Territory of Ladakh on the eve of his father Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, a party spokesman said.

The former Congress president is currently on a tour of Ladakh — his first since the region was made a Union Territory after being carved out of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 — and is likely to visit Kargil next week.
The erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was also turned into a Union Territory and its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked.
Gandhi reached Leh on a two-day visit on Thursday, later deciding to extend his stay in the region by four more days to cover Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley and Kargil district, Congress spokesperson and leader of opposition in Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Tsering Namgyal said on phone.
After covering more than 130 km on motorcycle, Gandhi will stay overnight at Pangong Lake where a token celebration will be organised in connection with the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Sunday, he said.
Rahul Gandhi shared several pictures of his motorcycle expedition from Leh to Pangong on his social media account with a caption “On our way to Pangong lake, which my father used to say, is one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
“On Sunday, he is leaving for Nubra Valley on the motorcycle for a night stay there. En route, he is likely to meet commoners including shopkeepers and farmers,” Namgyal said, adding he will be back in Leh on Monday.
Though the trip was described by his party colleagues in Leh as “non-political” with no consideration of next year’s Parliamentary elections, Gandhi was given a warm welcome by party workers on his arrival on Thursday.
He also had a meeting with party colleagues and interacted with the youth besides watching a football match between two local clubs.
Gandhi will be visiting Kargil district either on Monday or Tuesday, the Congress spokesperson said, adding he is likely to interact with party workers and people, especially the youth, there.
The visit of Gandhi to the district assumes significance as LAHDC, Kargil is going to polls on September 10. The National Conference and the Congress have already announced a pre-poll alliance for the Hill Council elections.