Srinagar: Congress 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' ends, Rahul Gandhi unfurls tricolor
The Congress's ambitious Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, came to an end on Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar after nearly five months. Notably, Gandhi also unfurled the national flag in the presence of his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other top Congress leaders at Srinagar's historic Lal Chowk, marking the end of the grand foot march.
Why does this story matter?
- Launched by the grand old party in September 2022 to mobilize its cadres and restore public support ahead of the upcoming polls, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a 4,000km pan-India foot march.
- The match received a lot of flak, mostly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over issues like Gandhi skipping Parliament sessions for the BJY and the breach of coronavirus and safety protocols.
BJY resumed from Srinagar's Pantha Chowk today
After an overnight halt at Srinagar's Pantha Chowk on Saturday, the Congress's foot march resumed on Sunday morning and ended near Nehru Park on Boulevard Road on the city's outskirts. Earlier on Saturday, top political leaders like J&K People's Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti, her mother Gulshan Nazir, and her daughter Iltija Mufti joined Gandhi during the march in Awantipora.
Visuals of BJY in Srinagar on Sunday morning
#BharatJodoYatra resumes from Pantha Chowk Srinagar, Jammu Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/gMG5Tb1dcD— Nitin Agarwal (@nitinagarwalINC) January 29, 2023
Gandhi unfurls tricolor under tight security
On Sunday, Gandhi reportedly visited the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters located on Maulana Azad Road, Srinagar, and later left for the clock tower at Lal Chowk to unfurl the tricolor during a 10-minute event there amid tight security arrangements. All roads within a one-kilometer radius toward Lal Chowk were shut since Saturday night, and vehicular movement was also not permitted in the area.
Video of Rahul Gandhi unfurling the national flag
#WATCH | Jammu and Kashmir: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi unfurls the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. pic.twitter.com/I4BmoMExfP— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2023
BJY concluding event in Srinagar tomorrow
While Sunday marked the last "walking day" of the BJY, the Congress foot march will officially culminate on Monday. The grand old party will host a concluding ceremony in Srinagar for which as many as 21 opposition parties have been invited as well, said reports. However, nine of these parties are reportedly likely to skip the event over security concerns.
Congress claims security lapse during BJY
To recall, on Friday afternoon, Gandhi had to cancel the march after the BJY entered Kashmir as the Congress alleged a security lapse and claimed the police arrangements made by the J&K administration had "completely collapsed." However, the police refuted the party's allegations and claimed that only frisked individuals and authorized people recognized by organizers were allowed to join the path of the yatra.
BJY's journey through 12 states and 2 UTs
The BJY, which started in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari on September 7, came to an end in Kashmir's Srinagar after about 145 days and has reportedly covered over 4,000km. The yatra has traveled through two union territories and 12 states, namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.