New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is expected to meet the village panchayat heads in Srinagar on Friday. The meet comes in the wake of the murders of two sarpanchs in two weeks last month following which around 150 of their counterparts resigned in protest, demanding greater security.
The sarpanch protests have threatened to turn into a major face-off between Rahul and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, though the two have denied any rift. Rahul had, at a meet in Delhi with a sarpanch delegation from Srinagar, had said that the state government needed to provide greater security to the local village body leaders. The sarpanch leaders demanded that they be issued gun licences so that they could take care of their own security.
Rahul is currently on a two-month tour of the state. He arrived in the Leh town of the Ladakh region on Thursday morning, and addressed a huge gathering at a public meeting at the Polo Grounds. He said he was happy to observe the festive spirit of the crowds, and recalled that his last visit in 2010 was shortly after the flash floods and landslide of August that year, when there was mourning all round.