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Rahul advances trip to J&K by a day

Last updated on: September 28, 2012 22:04 IST

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has advanced his trip to Jammu and Kashmir by a day. Earlier he was to visit the state on October 5 to take stock of the situation faced by the sarpanches, but now he is visiting the state on the night of October 4.

During his visit he will interact with the panchs and sarpanchs of the two regions in the Valley, and also meet Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The Gandhi scion would be visiting Kargil, Srinagar and Jammu division during his stay and return to national capital on October 5.

"Rahul feels uneasy about the reports of a sense of insecurity creeping inside the panchs following threat by militants," said Shafique Mir, a sarpanch from the Poonch sector of Kashmir.

"There is warmth in his approach towards the problems faced by us," said Anil Sharma, a sarpanch from Jammu.

"I would like to clarify one thing about the number of panchayats and total number of sarpanchs and panchs. The state has 4,125 panchayats, and the total number of sarpanches and panches are 29,7000. The total number exceeds 33,825 of which seven have been killed and more than 700 sarpanchs have resigned," said Imtiaz Baig, a sarpanch from Baramula.

Speaking to, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that Rahul is anxious to see that devolution of power to the panchayats at the earliest possible time.

Earlier, Omar Abdullah had blamed the media for running 'irrelevant stories' of rift being him and Rahul.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi