Didn’t receive any request from Rahul for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: MEA

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New Delhi, June 28 (IANS) The External Affairs Minisry said on Thursday that it did not receive any request from Congress President Rahul Gandhi to undertake this year’s Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

“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 here.

His response came following media reports citing Congress sources which said 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 that there are primarily two ways of undertaking this.

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“The first is through the MEA organised route, which is a very transparent route,” he said.

“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 that 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.

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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.

–IANS

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