Did Congress president Rahul Gandhi really intend to go for Kailash Mansarovar yatra or did he announcement the same merely to gain political mileage ahead of recently-concluded Karnataka Assembly elections? With the Ministry of External Affairs confirming that the Gandhi scion has not submitted any application for the yatra, there has been no reaction from the leaders of the Congress party.
Notably, the Congress had till recently been claiming that Rahul Gandhi had sought special permission from the Ministry of External Affairs to go for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra. But two days back, the government clarified that they have not received any such application.
Addressing the Parivartan Rally of the Congress party in the national capital on April 29, the Congress president had claimed that he would go for Kailash Mansarovar yatra after Karnataka Assembly elections. He had also asked party workers for a “leave” for 15 days. However, the announcement came after the deadline for registration for the pilgrimage got over.
When the issue was raised by media sometime back, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had claimed that Rahul Gandhi had and the party was awaiting a response from the foreign ministry on the same.
The Kailash Mansarovar yatra commenced on June 8 and will continue till September 8. There are two ways in which a pilgrim can go for the yatra – one through Ministry of External Affairs and the other through private tour operators.
The government goes for a lottery system for which devotees need to register themselves. According to a release issued by the ministry on February 21, devotees could register themselves for the draw by March 23, almost a month before Rahul Gandhi made the announcement at the Parivartan rally.
Therefore, there was no scope of him going through the lottery system of the government. However, being a Member of Parliament and an SPG protectee, Rahul Gandhi had the option of applying individually and in most certainty, the government would have allowed him to go for the yatra.