Bharat Jodo Yatra: Priyanka Gandhi joins Rahul Gandhi in J&K
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was joined by his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday at the Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) in Jammu and Kashmir's Lethpora as the foot march entered its penultimate day. Gandhi Vadra walked alongside the former party president under tight security arrangements before the march stopped for the night halt, reported the news agency PTI.
Why does this story matter?
- The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a 3,500km pan-India march launched in September last year by the grand old party in hopes of rallying its cadres and reviving public support.
- The BJY drew a lot of backlash from some quarters, mainly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over issues like Gandhi missing Parliament sessions for the march and breach of security and COVID-19 protocols.
Mehbooba Mufti joins Gandhi during BJY
Besides Gandhi Vadra, People's Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti, her daughter Iltija Mufti, and her mother Gulshan Nazir joined Gandhi during the march's Awantipora leg. Gandhi paid tribute to the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who died in a suicide bomb attack in February 2019 at Lethpora and laid a bouquet at the site where the forces' bus was blown up.
Visuals of Gandhi walking with PDP chief and her daughter
The BJY schedule for Sunday in J&K
Notably, the BJY reached Pantha Chowk, on the Srinagar outskirts, later on Saturday and halted near Birla School in Pampore's Galandar area for the night. Following an overnight halt, the yatra will once again resume on Sunday from Pantha Chowk and reach Boulevard Road near the city's Nehru Park. Gandhi is set to unfurl the tricolor and address a press conference there on Sunday.
Congress alleges security lapse during BJY
The former Congress president had to cancel his walk on Friday afternoon after the BJY entered Kashmir, as the party alleged a security lapse and claimed the police arrangements made by the union territory's administration "completely collapsed." However, the J&K Police refuted Congress' claims and said only authorized personnel identified by organizers and frisked individuals were permitted into the path of the march.
Man breaches security to hug Rahul Gandhi in Punjab
To recall, on January 17, an individual breached security to hug Rahul Gandhi in Punjab's Hoshiarpur during the BJY. However, the man was pulled away quickly from Gandhi. Clips of the incident showed the former party president being stunned by the man's sudden attempt to embrace him. This too had raised concerns regarding his security just weeks after Congress highlighted numerous lapses in guard.