Young men and women led by Amit Jogi, the son of Congress leader and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, began a seven-day march in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district Saturday, the 40th birthday of party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Amit Jogi, 32, and other youth offered prayers for Gandhi's long life at the famous Maa Danteshwari temple in Dantewada town, about 380 km from here, and began trekking through the 80 km forested violence-hit stretch on foot.
The junior Jogi, who mostly hits the headlines for the wrong reasons, will spend the nights in the huts of tribals before reaching Sukma June 25, where he will address a meeting. He will then decide whether to carry on the march further or call it off.
"Bastar satyagraha has no political objective. The basic intent is to win the faith of people who have been caught in crossfire for decades," Amit Jogi told IANS.
"I will listen to them (tribals), what they want to say. We came in restive Bastar without a solution and hopefully will return with a solution to the unabated bloodbath. This solution will come from the traumatised tribals...based on their experiences living amid terror and gun shots," he said.
Political analysts here say Amit Jogi's Bastar march is a well-thought move to appease Gandhi and come close to his family. Ajit Jogi, the first Chhattisgarh chief minister, has not been reportedly sharing a good relationship with the Gandhi family for some years.
Ajit Jogi, who has been confined to a wheelchair after a road accident in April 2004, is desperate to launch his lone son in politics, but his son's controversial background has been a hindrance.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named Amit Jogi as the prime accused in the murder of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state unit treasurer Ramavtar Jaggi in 2003 here.
In May 2007, a court convicted 28 co-accused, most of them long-time associates of Amit Jogi, but he was acquitted.
The acquittal of junior Jogi has been challenged in the Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur where Amit Jogi is presently practising as a lawyer.