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No Request from Rahul Gandhi for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Says Govt

Rahul Gandhi had expressed his desire to go for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra after the Karnataka Assembly elections,

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Updated:June 29, 2018, 12:03 PM IST
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No Request from Rahul Gandhi for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Says Govt
Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (File photo/Reuters)
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New Delhi: No request has been received from Congress president Rahul Gandhi to undertake this year’s Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the External Affairs Ministry has said.

"We have not received any formal request for his visit to the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a question at a media briefing.

His response came after media reports quoted Congress sources as saying that Gandhi, who had expressed his desire to go for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra after the Karnataka Assembly elections, had not received a response to his request for special permission from the External Affairs Ministry.

Explaining the procedure for undertaking the annual pilgrimage, Kumar said there are primarily two ways. "The first is through the MEA organised route, which is a very transparent route. You have to register yourself on the (MEA) website. And through a transparent draw, which is conducted in front of the media, the names of the people who could undertake the yatra are selected and made public there and then."

Kumar said Gandhi's name was not registered as an applicant to undertake this Yatra. "The second route is the private route where you have to go through a private travel agency to undertake this Yatra," he said.

"And in that case, some intimation could come to us, but even in that regard we have not received anything."

According to an MEA press release dated February 21, the last date for registration was March 23.

However, Gandhi had announced his desire to undertake the pilgrimage on April 29 at the Jan Akrosh rally at the Ramlila Maidan here.

This year, the yatra is scheduled from June 8 to September 8 through two routes, according to MEA.

Pointed out that Gandhi had applied for special permission, which is normally granted to MPs, Kumar maintained that no such request was received.
| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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