Rahul Gandhi to resume his padyatra from Odisha on June 5

  • Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 01, 2015 23:44 IST

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will resume his countrywide padyatra (foot march) from Odisha on June 5.

The padyatra had been launched from Vidarbha in Maharashtra on April 30 to protest the BJP-led NDA government’s policies on farm, land and labour reforms.

He also travelled to Telangana on May 15 where he took on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, claiming they were ignoring the plight of farmers. While undertaking 15-km padyatra in both the places, he met the families of farmers who had committed suicide due to debt and crop failure.

In Odisha, Gandhi will highlight the “failures” of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal.

He will also meet a section of tribals in Jharsuguda – his second visit to the area after having addressed a tribal youth convention there in July 2014.

Gandhi’s tour is part of a strategy to reach out to different sections that once comprised the support base of the Congress but had gradually moved away from the party — in a bid to revive the party’s sagging fortunes after being decimated in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

On June 6, the Congress vice-president is likely to visit West Bengal where the party is struggling to keep its flock together in the wake of large-scale exodus to the ruling Trinamool Congress. Here, he will undertake a padyatra and is expected to visit a jute mill in Hooghly.

The Congress vice president will, on Tuesday, inaugurate the party’s year-long celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, a move widely seen as an attempt to reach out to the Dalit community.

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