New Delhi, 07 Sep (CNI) : On the first anniversary of the launch of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress on Thursday said it was not a “Mann ki Baat” lecturing exercise for Rahul Gandhi but an opportunity to listen to “Janta ki Chinta” and it continues in different forms.
Describing the yatra as a transformative event in Indian politics, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it focused on ”rising economic inequalities, increasing social polarisation and deepening political authoritarianism”.
In a post on X, he said today marks the first anniversary of the launch of the historic Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi. ”It (yatra) was not a Mann ki Baat lecturing exercise for Rahul Gandhi but an opportunity to listen to Janta ki Chinta (concerns of the people),” Ramesh said.
On this day in 2022, the Congress launched the yatra in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, the southern tip of the country.
Ramesh said that ”after paying tributes to his father at Sriperumbudur, he (Rahul Gandhi) visited the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar statue, the Kamaraj Memorial and Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari”. ”He then walked from the Gandhi Mandapam to address a large public rally in Kanyakumari by the Indian ocean, and the yatra commenced in the early hours of the next morning,” the Congress general secretary recalled.
During the course of the yatra, that culminated in Srinagar on January 30 this year, Gandhi addressed 12 public meetings, more than 100 street corner meetings and 13 press conferences. He had over 275 planned walking interactions and more than 100 sitting interactions.
The yatra ”continues in different forms as evidenced by Rahul Gandhi’s meetings with students, truck drivers, farmers and farm workers, mechanics, vegetable traders, MSMEs across the country, and his presence in Manipur along with his extended week-long visit to Ladakh”, Ramesh said.
Several experts had said a big takeaway from the yatra for the Congress had been Gandhi’s image transformation — from a reluctant and part-time politician to one who is mature and taken seriously by opponents.
With over 4,000 kilometres under his belt, Gandhi had managed to catch the attention of his supporters as well as detractors. The march saw participation from a cross-section of society, including film and TV celebrities such as Kamal Haasan, Pooja Bhatt, Riya Sen, Swara Bhasker, Rashami Desai, Akanksha Puri and Amol Palekar..
Besides, writers and military veterans, including former Army chief Gen (Retd) Deepak Kapoor and ex-Navy chief Admiral (Retd) L Ramdas, and noted people such as former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and ex-finance secretary Arvind Mayaram had also participated in the yatra.
Opposition leaders such as National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray, Priyanka Chaturvedi and Sanjay Raut and NCP’s Supriya Sule, had also walked alongside Gandhi at various points in time during the march. (Agencies)