Mubarak Mandi, the heritage destination in the congested old Jammu city, on Tuesday, witnessed an unusual visitor with Dr Farooq Abdullah making to a popular tea-stall in the thin marketplace to have tea with popular light local snacks.

The news about the National Conference President being in the vicinity spread like wild-fire, drawing a huge crowd of people including some Mata Vaishno Devi bound tourists near the tea stall to have a glimpse of Dr Abdullah. They jostled with each other to interact and shake hands with him, who, keeping up his composure and warmth, met everyone, stood for selfies and waved to the crowd.

Incidentally, the tea stall has attained prominence for its unique identity of having larger than life-size posters of Farooq Abdullah all around. This is perhaps the second destination after the yesteryears famous tea stall outside Jammu’s Tourist Reception Centre at Residency Road, known for Dileep Kumar starrer Mughal-e-Azam grandeur.

Exchanging pleasantries with the tea stall owner, Ashok Kumar, an avid fan of the National Conference Chief, Farooq Abdullah, sitting on a wooden bench along with Provincial President Devender Singh Rana and other party functionaries, called for tea and some snacks. He also ordered tea for the entire staff and security personnel accompanying his cavalcade during his brief visit to the winter capital soon after his arrival from New Delhi. He took oath as Member Parliament on the opening day of the budget session on Monday.

The people greeted Abdullah on his re-election to Lok Sabha from the Srinagar parliamentary constituency in the just concluded general elections. Responding to the sentiment, he assured that he will continue to raise his voice for the welfare of people and the development of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the state is passing through a difficult phase and every effort is needed to be made for addressing the core issues, which are political and economic in nature, for heralding a lasting peace. He hoped the people will show the grit and determination in the restoration of democracy and holding of assembly elections at the earliest.

While responding to the local issues raised by the people, especially the youth, Abdullah said that democratically elected government has no substitute as it reflects the urges and aspirations of the people. He said the problems are manifold which need immediate attention that can be possible only when the public representatives are put in place to have a connect with the people at the grass root level.

“In the process, I have been drawing the attention of the Governor’s administration towards problems of people in both rural and urban areas across the state for redressal on an immediate basis,” Farooq Abdullah said while acknowledging the problems faced by the people, particularly with regard to power and drinking water during the ongoing summer season.

He exhorted the people to gear up for the elections and become part of governance and efforts to steer the state to peace, progress and development.

Farooq Abdullah also wished the Vaishno Devi bound pilgrims a blissful yatra, hoping that they will return with the message of peace and love from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.