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Rahul starts Kailash yatra, BJP questions Beijing link

New Delhi: As the Congress president and a “Shiv bhakt” Rahul Gandhi embarked on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the BJP claimed that Gandhi wanted Chinese ambassador to give him a ceremonial see-off and accused him of holding brief for China everywhere like a “Chinese spokesperson”.
The BJP claimed that the Chinese ambassador had sought required permission from the India government to give Gandhi a ceremonial see off but it did not respond to his letter. The ruling BJP sought to know from the Congress as to which politicians and officials Gandhi will meet during his visit to China, “his favourite country”.
Gandhi had in April this year announced that he would undertake the pilgrimage after a plane carrying him and some other Congress leaders developed a technical problem and plunged hundreds of feet during the campaign forthe Karnataka Assembly polls.
“You are Rahul Gandhi not Chinese Gandhi. Why should the Chinese ambassador want to see off a non-Chinese person? There is no such protocol… Ye rishta kya kahlata hai? (what is this relationship called),” asked the BJP national spokesperson Samit Patra, while mentioning a popular teleserial’s name.
The BJP leader sought to know about the Congress president’s “China connection”. He claimed that Gandhi was flying to Nepal from where he would go to China.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the pilgrimage is aimed at seeking the blessing of Lord Shiva for prosperity and success of the country and its people and will take about 12 days.
He did not disclose the route map due to security reasons. The arduous pilgrimage to Mt Kailash, which is considered the abode of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology and is in the Tibetan Himalayas, is organised every year between June and September.
“Shiv bhakt Congress president Rahul Gandhi has left for undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, where he will take the ‘parikarma’ of Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, and of Mansarovar lake. The yatra will take around 12 to 15 days, but the exact route cannot be disclosed due to security reasons,” said Surjewala as he also accused the BJP of trying to create “hurdles” in the yatra.
The BJP also played a video clip titled “Addiction, obsession or something else” of several comments made by Gandhi in which he highlights achievements of the neighbouring country, and alleged that the Congress president acts like a “Chinese spokesperson”.
The BJP leader said that during last year’s Doklam standoff between India and China, Gandhi had met the Chinese ambassador to understand the Chinese perspective without taking the Indian government into confidence or seeking to know the Indian perspective. He also mentioned Gandhi’s claim that China gives 50,000 jobs to its people every 24 hours while India could employ only 450 persons everyday and termed them as “comic figures”.
“Why is he holding brief for China everywhere as if he is a hired man to advertise China,” Patra asked.
The BJP leader also said that the Gandhi family was a guest of the Chinese government during the 2008 Olympics in the country and the Chinese ambassador had gone to airport to see its members off and questioned the kind of relations it has with that country.