Congress reaches out to like-minded parties for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Congress reaches out to like-minded parties for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’

Jun 27, 2022 07:09 AM IST

The march, starting from October 2, will be flagged off from Kanyakumari and end in Kashmir. The preparations for it has already started.

The Congress party’s ambitious Bharat Jodo Yatra is set to be led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, cover at least 16 states and will have enough space to accommodate other like-minded opposition parties.

Rahul Gandhi is set to lead the yatra (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
Rahul Gandhi is set to lead the yatra (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

The march, starting from October 2, will be flagged off from Kanyakumari and end in Kashmir. The preparations for it has already started. A committee led by former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh had been formed to plan for the ambitious yatra that aims to spread the message of unity across India and mark the Congress party’s first pan-Indian march in Independent India.

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The central planning group for the coordination of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress party’s biggest non-electoral campaign, will have Digvijaya Singh, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Ravneet Singh Bittu, KJ George, Jothi Mani, Pradyut Bordoloi, Jitu Patwari, and Saleem Ahmed as its members.

States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab are likely to be covered by the march, according to two leaders involved in the planning. The party plans to complete the tentative 3,500km long journey in five to six months and the entire route would be covered by foot.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will lead the Bharat Jodo Yatra and he has told us that he wants to walk the entire distance between Kanyakumari to Kashmir. In fact, his initial suggestion was to cover more than 30km per day but he was reminded that not everyone is as fit as him,” a senior leader said, declining to be named.

The planning for the yatra started during the Udaipur chintan shivir (brainstorming workshop) and many Congress leaders were keen that the party announces the yatra will be led by Gandhi in the Udaipur Sankalp. “But Gandhi himself said, let’s keep it as a party programme. His argument was his leadership in this yatra should not come by default,” a second leader said, seeking anonymity.

The party will approach like-minded opposition outfits in these states to join the rally. “The Bharat Jodo rally doesn’t have any electoral objective. It is a rally that will spread the message of unity among the people. Many other parties also think in the same way. So, there is no ideological hurdle for anyone to join,” said the second leader. Similarly, social activists and others, too, would be welcome and approached to join this mega march.

“We will launch a national Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra beginning on Gandhi Jayanti this year. All of us will participate in it,” Congress president Sonia Gandhi had said on May 15 in her concluding remarks at the Udaipur meeting. “The yatra is to strengthen the bonds of social harmony that are under stress, to preserve the foundational values of our Constitution that are under assault, and to highlight the day-to-day concerns of crores of our people.”

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