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Rahul Gandhi along with senior party leaders, hundred of workers resume Bharat Jodo Yatra

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 16, Sep 2022, 11:07 am IST | UPDATED: 16, Sep 2022, 19:52 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi along with senior party leaders, hundred of workers resume Bharat Jodo Yatra

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday (September 16) resumed his party's Bharat Jodo yatra along with senior party leaders and hundreds of workers after a day's rest from Polayathodu in Kollam district of Kerala. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, VD Satheesan, AICC general secretary in charge of Organisation, K C Venugopal, senior Congress leaders, Ramesh Chennithala, K Muraleedharan, RSP leader N K Premachandran among others seen walking beside Rahul Gandhi, said a PTI report.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Rahul Gandhi will interact with the cashew workers, entrepreneurs, and the party allies during the halt of the yatra at Neendakara in the district. Ramesh tweeted, "After a day of well-earned rest, #BharatJodoYatra resumed from Kollam today at 6:45 am. It'll cover 13 km this morning and halt at Neendakara on the seashore. Interactions with cashew workers, cashew entrepreneurs, trade union and leaders of RSP & Forward Block in the afternoon." 

It may be noted that the Yatra will enter Alappuzha on September 17 and pass through Ernakulam district on September 21 and 22 and reach Thrissur on September 23. It will traverse through Palakkad on September 26 and 27 and enter Malappuram on September 28. Notably, September 23 would be another day of rest after marching for seven days.

Facing criticism from the CPI(M) over the route of its 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' and the time it would be spending in Kerala, the Congress on Thursday took a dig at the Left party over its leaders' proposed foreign trip, saying they are engaged in Europe Jodo Yatra. 

Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretary in charge of communications, told reporters in Kollam, "Ours is Bharat Jodo Yatra and not Europe Jodo Yatra which some parties that criticise Congress party are engaged in right now." He termed the CPI(M) as the 'A' team of the BJP, referring to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as 'Mundu Modi' and said both of them, in Kerala, were identical.

Jairam Ramesh alleged, "In fact, CPI(M) allied with the BJP in 1989 to defeat the Congress," adding that if the Left party wants to support the Congress, it is welcome to do so. "But, this yatra is not for opposition unity. It is for strengthening the Congress and without Congress, you cannot have an opposition unity. It is the only party which has never allied with BJP. So far, everyone has been trying to weaken the Congress. We will not allow it to happen. In Kerala, CPI(M) is doing its best to encourage BJP and weaken the Congress," he added.

Ramesh did not spare the BJP either by accusing it of dividing the country for a long time, adding "They (BJP) have been doing 'Bharat-Todo' for a long time. Now they are doing 'Congress-Todo' and what is happening in Goa is an example of the diversion the BJP is trying to create. One day container, another day t-shirt, another day shoes and then Goa. They will do it everyday to divert people's attention from the yatra due to the response it is receiving."

He also addressed the accusation against the Congress of avoiding BJP-ruled states like Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and spending less time in Uttar Pradesh when it was devoting 18 days in Kerala, saying "Yatra is going through Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana where Congress is fighting BJP. Anyone who says we are not going through States where Congress is fighting BJP does not know full details of the yatra."

Ramesh said it would take a minimum of 90 days to walk from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Gujarat and by then elections in that State, as well as Himachal Pradesh, would be over, adding "So, even if superman with a 56-inch chest, you know whom I am referring to, were to walk, he will take 90 days at least to reach Gujarat from Kanyakumari." 

On the issue of Congress not being able to retain its senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad or those like the 8 MLAs in Goa, Ramesh said two types of people are leaving the party, those who have benefitted from it and those vulnerable to central investigating agencies. On Azad's exit from the party, Ramesh said, "People will leave. But for every Ghulam Nabi Azad, there are 50 V T Balrams (KPCC vice-president) -- youngsters with political experience wedded to Congress ideology. So, I am not worried when such big names leave. The sooner they leave, the better.

The 150-day-long foot march was launched from Kanyakumari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will cover 12 states and two Union territories. The Yatra, which entered Kerala on September 10 evening, would traverse through the state covering 450 km, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.

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