United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday sought to strike a chord with the people of Kashmir, as she recalled her mother-in-law and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit to the State this day 25 years ago.

“Indiraji visited the Kashmir exactly on this day in 1984, two days before she was killed,” Ms. Gandhi told a public meeting here.

“She loved Kashmir and wanted to see the burning leaves of chinar which turn ultimate red this season.” She had come to “bid adieu and to pay respects to the Kashmir valley, such was the intensity of affection she had for this place,” said the UPA chairperson.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also referred to chinar leaves. “I am delighted to be back in the valley of Kashmir in the lovely season of autumn. We will soon see the beautiful golden hues of the season and the magnificent chinar will soon be flaming red.”

Ms. Gandhi said Jammu and Kashmir had a distinct place in secular India. “It has been our endeavour to extend full support to the State. The coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah is moving ahead and it is the responsibility of both [the Central and State] governments to work for development.”

The Congress president said, “All the problems can be solved and there is no issue which cannot be resolved through democratic means and principles. This is my belief.”