Just a day after the Congress stopped its padayatra in Kashmir over security issues, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to seek his intervention in order to ensure adequate security personnel are posted for the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The Congress had alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir Police had withdrawn security around leader Rahul Gandhi in the wake of surging crowds during the foot march in Qazigund on Friday which led to the suspension of the the yatra.
"We are expecting a huge gathering to join the yatra over the next two days and also the function that will be held on 30th January at Srinagar. Many senior Congress leaders and leaders of other important political parties are attending the culmination function to be held on the 30th of January. I shall be grateful if you could personally intervene in this matter and advise the concerned officials to provide adequate security till the culmination of the yatra and the function on the 30th January at Srinagar," the Congress president said in his letter to the home minister.
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He said he is writing after the “unfortunate security lapse” during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. On the advice of the security officials in charge of the security detail of Rahul Gandhi, the Yatra had to be suspended, Kharge said.
"We appreciate the Jammu and Kashmir Police and welcome their statement saying they will continue to ensure complete security till the culmination of the journey," he said. However, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha also said, "You will appreciate the fact that a large crowd of common people has joined and walked in the Bharat Jodo Yatra every day. It is difficult for the organisers to tell exactly how many people are expected over the day as it is a spontaneous gesture of the common people to join the yatra."
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The Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Gandhi started in Kanyakumari on September 7 and will culminate on January 30 in Srinagar after traversing through 12 states. The 3500-km foot march is aimed at galvanising the Congress cadres across the country, but the party is claiming that the Yatra is not political and seeks to unite India in the wake of growing "hatred".
(With inputs from PTI)