Eyeing 2024 polls, Rahul Gandhi flags off 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'
Indian National Congress (INC) MP Rahul Gandhi launches the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari on Wednesday. With an eye on the 2024 elections, the long march will cover 3,500 km of the country in 150 days. In preparation for the launch, he visited father Rajiv Gandhi's memorial at Sriperumbudur and vowed not to lose his country to hate.
- For months, the Congress has seen internal upheaval, with several senior politicians quitting critical positions or retiring entirely.
- Last month, veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad resigned from the party and wrote a scathing letter to chief Sonia Gandhi.
- The Bharat Jodo Yatra is seen as an attempt to revive its position as the main opposition party and strengthen itself internally and externally.
The Wayanad MP began his day by visiting his father's memorial in Sriperumbudur, where the former Prime Minister was assassinated in a suicide bombing in 1991. After paying a floral tribute, Gandhi participated in a short prayer in the presence of other Congress leaders. He vowed to not lose his country to hate in the same way he lost his father to it.
I lost my father to the politics of hate and division. I will not lose my beloved country to it too.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 7, 2022
Love will conquer hate. Hope will defeat fear. Together, we will overcome. pic.twitter.com/ODTmwirBHR
After a Mehengai Par Halla Bol rally in Delhi last week, the Congress has now launched its mega yatra from Kanyakumari. Gandhi met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at the Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, where the latter handed over the national flag to Gandhi during the launch. The 3570-km-long march will officially commence on Thursday morning.
#BharatJodoBegins officially— Congress (@INCIndia) September 7, 2022
CM Tamil Nadu Shri @mkstalin, CM Rajasthan Shri @ashokgehlot51 CM Chhattisgarh Shri @bhupeshbaghel hand over the Tiranga to Shri @RahulGandhi at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam to mark the onset of the biggest political movement in India since independence. pic.twitter.com/TaGRluQ5nx
The Congress claims that this is the longest political march organized by any party in India's history. With Gandhi at the helm, the march will pass through 12 states over the next 150 days in a bid to "unite the country and spread the message of peace". Gandhi and fellow Congress members will walk 25 km or six to seven hours every day.
The yatra is seen as Congress's attempt to strengthen its position as the main opposition party. Gandhi and 118 members will walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, and pass through poll-bound states, such as Himachal Pradesh. The party will also attempt to connect to regular citizens and discuss price rise, inflation, and unemployment, in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.