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Rahul Gandhi to attract J&K youth


New Delhi: To attract the youth of Jammu and Kashmir into the party fold, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will “appeal to them to join mainstream politics”, sources here said Sunday.

The Congress leader will interact with students of Kashmir University in Srinagar Sep 26 to strengthen the ongoing membership drive of the party’s youth wing, Indian Youth Congress, which is expected to have elected representatives in a few months, sources said.

The visit will also help the Congress general secretary better understand the issues related to youth in the border-state, said sources.

“During his interaction with the students in the Valley, the Congress general secretary is expected to appeal to them to join mainstream politics,” said a senior Congress functionary.

Gandhi will also address a public meeting in Kargil Monday.

Later in the day, he will attend a convention of elected representatives of panchayats and meet the potential candidates of the Indian Youth Congress.

“Rahul Gandhi wants to encourage the participation of rural youth in the political process,” said the Congress functionary. “The visit is aimed at strengthening the Congress and its youth wing in Kashmir.”

The Congress general secretary will follow a similar itinerary Sep 27 and attend a meeting of elected panchayat representatives in Rajouri district, followed by an interaction with students in Jammu.

The Congress and National Conference are partners in Kashmir’s coalition government headed by young chief minister Omar Abdullah, who enjoys Rahul Gandhi’s “support” in New Delhi.