Bharat Jodo Yatra: Bharat Jodo Yatra is not only aimed at the alleged divisive politics of Bharatiya Janata Party but also focused on reviving the entire party. This movement will help in developing the party from both blocks to the state level in the nation.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Communications Jairam Ramesh said the yatra is a "listening yatra" where concerns of the people from all walks of life would be heard by Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi as he walks 3,570 km from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Jammu and Kashmir.
He also hit back at the comments circulating in social media regarding Gandhi's attire, saying "these are cheap, childish and stupid tactics of a party which is rattled and worried by the yatra".
"Their objective is to derail us. We will not be cowed down. We will not be diverted," Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Ramesh said while speaking at a press conference here after the first stage of the day's yatra got over. The second stage would commence at 4 PM from Neyyattinkara here.
"This is a new and aggressive Congress which is connecting with the people," he added. A similar view was also expressed by Congress MP K C Venugopal who, while speaking at the press conference, said that comments about Gandhi's attire indicate that the yatra has become a problem for those parties who want to destroy the Congress.
"But our intention is very clear. Our intention is to stop the spread of fear and anger and to instead spread love and affection," he said.
Venugopal also said that Gandhi would be interacting with the fishermen who are protesting against the Vizhinjam port project as well as leaders of the anti-K-Rail movement and other such agitations in the state.
Gandhi would also be going out of the way of the yatra route to pay tribute to social reformers Ayyankali, Chattampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru, Venugopal said. Ramesh, during the press conference, also said that the yatra was not being conducted by keeping in mind any Assembly elections or the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"We are doing 'jodo' because someone is doing 'thodo'. The RSS-BJP project is to divide India, while the Congress project is to unite it. The BJP equals uniformity, while Congress equals unity as it believes in unity in diversity.
"Today diversity is threatened and therefore, unity is threatened. The BJP-RSS reject diversity and that is why we have launched the yatra," he alleged.
Venugopal too alleged that BJP was engaging in divisive politics and spreading fear and anger in the country.
He further alleged that even the CPI(M) in Kerala was taking the same anti-Congress stand of the BJP and was indirectly supporting the saffron party.
"They are both on the same page on that. They are both treating Congress as the enemy. The national-level CPI(M) is not doing that," Venugopal said. Ramesh also shared some data regarding the Congress and the yatra in the press conference, saying that the Prime Minister was fond of quoting terms like 'largest', 'longest', etc.
He said that "Congress, which is the oldest political party in India and second oldest in the world is conducting the world's longest 'padayatra' with 30 per cent of the yatris being women and the average age of the yatris being 38 years".
Rahul Gandhi started the yatra at around 7.30am on Sunday from Parassala here after entering Kerala on Saturday evening.
Also Read: Bharat Jodo Yatra: Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders begin 19-day long Kerala leg