Bharat Jodo Yatra: Kerala Congress suspends 3 over donation row
In a puzzling turn of events, three Kerala workers of the Indian National Congress (INC) were suspended after they allegedly threatened a vegetable vendor to pay more donation for the party's ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'. The incident was caught on video and triggered furore on Friday. The party has suspended the three men for "inexcusable behavior". Here's all about the development.
- Congress party's ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra is seen as an attempt to revive its position as the main opposition party and strengthen itself internally and externally.
- Marred with controversy over many senior leaders quitting the party in the last few months, INC's 3,570 kilometer yatra is expected to give the party a boost in the race to the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.
A video uploaded to Twitter showed Congress workers embroiled in an argument with a vegetable vendor, S Fawaz, in Kollam. The workers visited Fawaz on Friday morning to collect donations for the Bharat Jodo Yatra, but he reportedly offered only Rs. 500. The alleged hooliganism took place after he refused to pay Rs. 2,000. The men even threatened to kill him, reports said.
@ANI @RahulGandhi @republic @TimesNow @IndiaToday @BJPInNews@AskAnshul @INCKerala @vdsatheesan— Bipin Madhu (@bipinaiswarya) September 16, 2022
Congress member attack a vegetable shop and destroy their weighing machine worth 8000 Rs for not paying donation of Rs 2000 for Bharath Jodo Yatra at Kunnikodu / Kerala. pic.twitter.com/Gds6gnR7VI
As per NDTV, five men visited the vendor, including H Anees Khan, Kerala Youth Congress General Secretary. After Fawaz filed an FIR and the video went viral online, three men were suspended by the state leadership of Congress. "They have been suspended with immediate effect...They do not represent our ideology and such behavior is inexcusable," K Sudhakaran, Kerala Congress chief said.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee has been doing crowdfunding for years. Their politics runs on small donations at the grassroots. But this should not have happened. These three were clearly fringe elements and exemplary action has been taken immediately by the PCC President. https://t.co/TnvQRkV0NT— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) September 16, 2022
The 150-day long foot march, launched on September 7, will go from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. MP Rahul Gandhi, who has been at the forefront of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, has said that it aims to combat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s divisive politics. Incidentally, Gandhi started the march from Kollam on Friday, the same area where the incident took place.
Kerala | Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel along with party leaders workers resume 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' on its eighth day in Kollam pic.twitter.com/wmGGzsK1Tt— ANI (@ANI) September 16, 2022