Bharat Jodo Yatra resumes journey on second day of Uttar Pradesh leg

Jairam Ramesh and state unit chief Brijlal Khabri present

Baghpat January 4 dmanewsdesk: The Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed its journey at 6 am on Wednesday after halting for the night at Mavikalan.

Anshu Awasthi, spokesperson for the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reached Mavikalan from Delhi prior to the yatra’s resumption. Priyanka Gandhi did not, however, join Rahul Gandhi at the yatra’s resumption. She is likely to join after noon, party sources said.

Rahul Gandhi was again seen wearing the white T-shirt that he has sported for much of the yatra. Senior Congress leaders, including former Union minister Jairam Ramesh and the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief Brijlal Khabri, were also present.

Scores of people carrying the tricolor joined the yatra as it made its way through.

Local leaders and activists, including district unit chief Rampal Dhama, of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) — the Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance partner in Uttar Pradesh, joined the yatra.

The Congress had earlier claimed that RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary would also take part in the yatra. However, RLD National Secretary Anil Dubey had said it was unlikely as Chaudhary was currently abroad.

The yatra entered Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday via Ghaziabad’s Loni border after a nine-day break. It will travel though Uttar Pradesh for two days and will enter Haryana’s Panipat by Thursday evening via Baghpat and Shamli. The march left from Delhi’s Kashmiri Gate on Tuesday morning. Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had returned to Delhi after walking seven kilometers on entering Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’ West Uttar Pradesh unit chief Naseemuddin Siddiqui had told PTI that continuing the yatra from the Loni border, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi took a seven-kilometre walk before returning to Delhi.

While he did not give a clear answer about the reason behind their sudden withdrawal, Siddiqui had said that the siblings would resume the yatra from Baghpat according to schedule on Wednesday morning.

The Congress’ Baghpat district unit chief Yunus Chowdhary said the yatra started from Mavikalan village and would reach the Gufa temple, where it will take a brief halt, in the afternoon. The yatra will then enter Baraut town via Sarurpurkalan village.

Rahul Gandhi will address the Nukkad Sabha at Chhaprauli Chungi in Baraut before the yatra leaves for Shamli district, Chaudhary said.

The Congress has not held much political sway in Baghpat and Shamli districts, known as ‘Jatland’, for a long time. Baghpat last elected a Congress member to the Lok Sabha in 1996 when Chaudhary Ajit Singh won on the party’s symbol. The Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Shamli last elected a Congress leader — Akhtar Hasan — in 1984.

The yatra has so far received positive response in the state.

While SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and the RLD’s Chaudhary have maintained distance, they have congratulated the Congress for the yatra. Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and Champat Rai, secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, have also appreciated the yatra.

Speaking to journalists on the Bharat Jodo Yatra after a meeting of the Trust at Faizabad Circuit House late on Tuesday, Rai said, “I express my gratitude to a young man (Rahul Gandhi) who is walking in the country. I appreciate this step.”

He added that “there is nothing wrong in this, I am a worker of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the RSS never condemns Bharat Jodo Yatra”.

“He (Rahul Gandhi) is walking in this bad weather, it should be appreciated. I must say that everyone should travel the country.”

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, will end with the hoisting of the national flag by Rahul Gandhi in Srinagar on January 30.

The yatra has so far covered 3,122 km from Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari to the Red Fort in Delhi.

Over the 108 days, the Yatra has covered 49 districts in nine states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi. 

Source: The Week