Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra': BJP, RSS Think National flag is Their Personal Property, Says Rahul Gandhi

Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra': In a symbolic gesture of the commencement of the rally, Tamil Nadu CM Stalin handed over the national flag to Rahul Gandhi and both the leaders saluted the tricolour, signifying the broad theme of unity

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: September 07, 2022, 21:43 IST

New Delhi, India

The tagline of the yatra is 'Mile Kadam, Jude Watan'. (Image: INC Twitter)

Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’: The much-touted 3,570-km ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ by the Congress was launched on Wednesday by party leader Rahul Gandhi in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari. The grand old party has claimed that it will be a “transformational moment” for Indian politics and a “decisive moment” for the Congress’ rejuvenation. With the launch of the Yatra, Read More

Sep 07, 2022 19:07 IST

India Will Always Remain United: Rahul Gandhi

“They (BJP) think they can frighten the opposition by using the ED, CBI, and Income Tax. The problem is that they do not understand Indian people. Doesn’t matter how many hours of interrogation they do, not a single opposition leader is going to be scared of the BJP. The BJP thinks that they can divide this country along religious lines, and languages. This country can’t be divided. This country will always remain united. Today, India faces its worst ever economic crisis. The highest level of unemployment that we have ever seen and the country is heading into a disaster,” said Rahul Gandhi.

Sep 07, 2022 18:45 IST

Rahul Gandhi Tears Into BJP, RSS

The national flag represents every single person who lives in this country. This flag represents the religion, and the language of every single person that lives in this country. It represents every single state of our country. This flag was not earned by one person but by every single Indian. This flag does not belong to any state but every single state. It does not belong to any religion, community, or language but to every religion, community, and language… The national flag represents the religion and language of every single person living in this country. They (BJP and RSS) think that this flag is their personal property,” said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi while addressing the public during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ campaign in Kanyakumari.

Sep 07, 2022 18:36 IST

Rahul Gandhi Addresses Gathering at Launch of 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in TN

Addressing a massive gathering after the launch of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “It is always an honour and a pleasure for me to come to Tamil Nadu. You know my relationship with the people of Tamil Nadu. It gives me tremendous joy to come to this wonderful state. Today, coming here to the southernmost tip of our country and looking out here into the beautiful sea, it gives me great joy to be beginning this Bharat Jodo Yatra from this beautiful place. Why is it that after so many years after independence, we are feeling the need and not just the Congress party but millions and millions of Indians are feeling the need for a Bharat Jodo Yatra?”

Sep 07, 2022 18:19 IST

Rahul Gandhi Should Try to Integrate Pak, Bangladesh into India As ‘Akhand Bharat’: Assam CM

Calling Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra a “Comedy of the Century”, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa on Wednesday slammed Rahul Gandhi saying he should try to integrate Pakistan and Bangladesh into India while blaming the grand-old party for the nation’s partition in 1947. Sarma, who switched to the BJP after leaving the Congress party in 2015, said that India is united and suggested that the former Congress chief should go to Pakistan for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ if they want unification. Read More

Sep 07, 2022 17:43 IST

'Bharat Jodo Yatra': Sonia Gandhi Calls It 'Transformational Moment in Indian Politics'

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has issued a statement for all Congress members in view of the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. In a letter, she said that she could not attend the rally due to health reasons. “In view of the medical check-ups that I am undergoing, I regret my inability to be with all of you in person this momentous evening to launch the historic Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. This is a landmark occasion for our great party with such a glorious legacy—the Indian National Congress. I am confident that our organization will be rejuvenated. It is also a transformational moment in Indian politics. I especially want to congratulate some 120 of our colleagues who will complete the entire padyatra that is about 3600 kilometers long. There will hundreds and thousands of others who will join the yatra in different states and I extend my greetings to them as well. Speaking for myself, I will be participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra daily in thought and spirit. I will, of course, be seeing the Yatra Live as it progresses,” she said.

Sep 07, 2022 17:38 IST

Congress's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' Begins

Sep 07, 2022 17:20 IST

'Bharat Jodo Yatra': Anand Sharma Conveys Best Wishes to Rahul Gandhi

Senior Congress leader and prominent G23 member Anand Sharma today conveyed his best wishes to Rahul Gandhi for party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, saying it seeks to uphold India’s inclusive democracy and strengthen unity. Sharma is among the G23 leaders who had sought an organisational overhaul and elections at all levels, in a letter to the Congress president in August 2020.

Sep 07, 2022 17:17 IST

Lost My Father to 'Hate and Division', Do Not Want to Lose Country: Rahul Gandhi

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at the latter’s memorial in Sriperumbudur ahead of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, and said he lost his father to “hate and division” and does not want to lose his country. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Sep 07, 2022 17:13 IST

Rahul Gandhi Flags Off 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Kanyakumari

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today flagged off ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari. Chief Minister MK Stalin was also present in the rally.

Sep 07, 2022 17:03 IST

Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Presents Tricolour to Rahul Gandhi in Symbolic Start to Yatra

In a symbolic gesture of the commencement of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin handed over the national flag to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and both the leaders saluted the tricolour, signifying the broad theme of unity. Earlier, Stalin welcomed him here and joined the Congress leader in the prayer meet at the Gandhi Memorial. Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel respectively and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K S Alagiri took part in the prayer session, the undercurrent being national unity and brotherhood. Rahul Gandhi also visited the iconic Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Popular patriotic songs like Mahakavi Bharathi’s ‘Parukkuley Nalla Nadu’ (Our country Bharat, the great), ‘Engum Shanti Nilavu Vendum’ (Let peace prevail everywhere), and ‘Raghupathi Ragava Rajaram’ were sung.

Sep 07, 2022 15:53 IST

Rahul Gandhi Visits Vivekananda Memorial in Kanyakumari

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has arrived in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari to join the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and flag off the rally. He visited Vivekananda Memorial in Kanyakumari. The yatra will be launched from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday and then move northwards, passing through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nilambur, Mysuru, Bellary, Raichur, Vikarabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Indore, Kota, Dausa, Alwar, Bulandshahr, Delhi, Ambala, Pathankot, and Jammu, before culminating in Srinagar. Those participating in the yatra have been classified as “Bharat Yatris”, “Atithi Yatras”, “Pradesh Yatris” and “Volunteer Yatris”. The tagline of the yatra is “Mile Kadam, Jude Watan”. (Image: INC Twitter)

Rahul Gandhi Visits Vivekananda Memorial in Kanyakumari

Sep 07, 2022 15:43 IST

'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is 'Family-saving Campaign' to Keep Control of Gandhis Over Cong: BJP

The BJP today dubbed the Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ as “hollow” and claimed that it was essentially a “family-saving campaign” to keep control of Gandhis over the party and was another attempt to establish Rahul Gandhi as a leader. BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Essentially, it is a family-saving campaign. The family’s and the party’s political expanse has been shrinking while they face corruption charges. This is not about unifying the country but trying to establish him (Rahul) again as a leader. I would like to know how many times he will be launched and relaunched?” Referring to the recent exits of leaders from the Congress, including that of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prasad said Rahul Gandhi couldn’t even unify his party.

Sep 07, 2022 14:50 IST

BJP Rath Yatra was for 'satta', Cong Bharat Jodo is for 'satya': Kanhaiya Kumar

Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday claimed the BJP’s 1990 Rath Yatra was for seeking “satta (power)”, but the Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is for “satya (truth)”. Kumar, who has been classified as a ‘Bharat Yatri’ by the party and is slated to walk the entire 3,570-km distance of the Kanyakumari to Kashmir Yatra, said the Congress’ initiative is not solely political. “It represents the thinking of the country that is enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution,” he told PTI.

Sep 07, 2022 14:12 IST

BJP Slams Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'

Country is on Kartavya Path but Congress is on ‘Ghulami ka Parivar Path’. It’s not about Bharat Jodo but ‘Parivar ko Jodo’. It’s not ‘Pad Yatra’ but a yatra for a ‘pad’ (position): Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP on Bharat Jodo Yatra posters showing Robert Vadra, & other leaders, on them

Sep 07, 2022 13:45 IST

Fix Your Party Instead of India, Says BJP

BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad: “Rahul Gandhi on Bharat Jodo Yatra. Sometime it is very strange people who failed to bind their party are talking about Bharat Jodo. Rahul Gandhi should try to fix his party first, and then talk about India.”

Sep 07, 2022 13:30 IST

Bharat Jodo Yatra Indication of Cong to Take Everyone Together: KC Venugopal

Sep 07, 2022 13:04 IST

Ashok Gehlot Slams CM Himanta on 'Go to Pakistan' Remark

Sep 07, 2022 12:30 IST

Rally to Prevent 'Congress Chhodo' Movement, Quips AAP

AAP’s Sanjay Singh on Congress campaign: ‘This is to stop the ‘Congress chhodo’ movement that is on now with many leaders like Azad (Ghulam Nabi Azad) leaving’.

Sep 07, 2022 12:08 IST

BJP Wreaking Havoc: CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, before the Congress kicked off its ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ said the situation in the country would deteriorate amid BJP leadership, and slammed Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, who had earlier criticised the Congress for its rally. He also blamed the Centre for wreaking havoc on the Opposition through Central agencies.

Sep 07, 2022 11:08 IST

Congress 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' LIVE: Rahul Gandhi to Sleep in Container for Next 150 Days

Rahul Gandhi, who begins his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu today, will spend the next 150 days in a container. The party has stated that he will not stay in any hotel and will instead complete the entire journey in a straightforward manner. Some of the containers also have sleeping quarters, toilets, and air conditioners. The temperature and environment will change dramatically throughout the journey. The arrangements were made with the intense heat and humidity with the change of seasons in mind, ANI said in a report.

Congress is seeking to flag “economic disparities, social polarisation, and political centralization”, while attempting to make gains in what is often described as a “battle of ideologies”.

Before the launch of the rally at the seaside venue, Rahul Gandhi took part in a prayer meeting at the Rajiv Gandhi memorial in Sriperumbudur. In a symbolic gesture of the commencement of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra,’ DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin handed over the national flag to Rahul Gandhi and both the leaders saluted the tricolour, signifying the broad theme of unity. Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel respectively and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President KS Alagiri took part in the prayer session, the undercurrent being national unity and brotherhood. Popular patriotic songs like Mahakavi Bharathi’s ‘Parukkuley Nalla Nadu’ (Our country Bharat, the great), ‘Engum Shanti Nilavu Vendum’ (Let peace prevail everywhere), and ‘Raghupathi Ragava Rajaram’ were sung.

Sources said a message from Congress president Sonia Gandhi could be read or a video message from her be shown at the event. Sonia Gandhi’s mother passed away recently in Italy. Both she and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are abroad. Rahul Gandhi arrived in Chennai Tuesday night.

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the Yatra is a “transformational moment for Indian politics and it is a decisive moment for the rejuvenation of the party”.

A final check on the preparations at the venue near the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam’ was done by general secretaries K C Venugopal and Ramesh along with senior leader and Yatra organisation panel in-charge Digvijaya Singh.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement among the Congress workers across India. Even in states where the Yatra is not passing through, people are excited. In each state the Congress will organise similar Yatras on a smaller scale, may be of 50 km or 100 km on the main theme of uniting India, an India being torn apart by economic inequalities, social polarisation and over-centralisation,” Ramesh told news agency PTI.

In an apparent dig at the government, Ramesh said it will not be a yatra of speeches where announcements are made. Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by 118 leaders, will interact with various groups, he said. “The party is focused on making Bharat Jodo Yatra successful because it is the largest mass mobilisation programme it has undertaken in Independent India.”

“It is the longest yatra undertaken by the party. It’s a turning point for India’s political history. Padyatras have a significance of their own and this is transformational politics. This is what politics is about, not of abuse, vendetta and vilification,” he said.

Tagging a report on a meeting of top BJP leaders in Delhi on Tuesday, Ramesh tweeted, “The launch of the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra tomorrow from Kanyakumari has clearly sent a powerful message to the ruling establishment. When they can’t meet deadlines, they resort to managing headlines!”

In a video message, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged people to join the Yatra wherever possible. She asserted the Yatra was needed as “negative politics was being practised in the country and real issues were not being discussed”. It aims to put focus on people’s issues such as price rise and unemployment, she said.

Though the march, covering 12 states and two Union Territories in about five months, was formally launched at the rally, it will actually begin at 7 am on Thursday when Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders will embark on the march.

Before the launch, Rahul Gandhi visited Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar statue and Kamaraj Memorial in Kanyakumari. He has said with all paths blocked, the Congress now has to go to the people and tell them the truth which is why the party is undertaking the Yatra.

“The government has blocked all paths for us… Congress leaders, opposition and people cannot make speeches in Parliament. Our mic is put off. We want to talk about China’s attack but can’t. We want to talk about unemployment and inflation but can’t,” Gandhi said at the ‘Mehngai Par Halla Bol Rally’ on Sunday.

“There is attack on our institutions, whether it is media, Election Commission or judiciary. There is pressure. All roads are closed for us. Only one way left, to go to the people. The country’s truth has to be told to the people, that’s why the party is undertaking the Yatra,” he said.

The march will move in two batches from 7 am to 10:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. While the morning session will include fewer participants, the evening session will see mass mobilisation. The participants plan to walk around 22 to 23 km daily. The Congress has asserted its Yatra is not a ‘Mann Ki Baat’, but to ensure people’s concerns reach Delhi.

It has classified 119 leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, as ‘Bharat Yatris’ who will walk the entire route. About 30 per cent of ‘Bharat Yatris’ are women. The average age of Bharat Yatris is 38. About 50,000 citizens have also registered to participate in the Yatra. To coincide with the launch of the Yatra on Wednesday, ‘Prarthana Sabhas’ will be held by the Congress’ state units at 5 pm, a leader said. At 7 am Thursday, 10 km foot marches will be held at block level.

After reaching Kerala on September 11, the Yatra will traverse through the state for the next 18 days, reaching Karnataka on September 30. It will be in Karnataka for 21 days before moving north. It will pass through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nilambur, Mysuru, Bellary, Raichur, Vikarabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Indore, Kota, Dausa, Alwar, Bulandshahr, Delhi, Ambala, Pathankot, Jammu, and end in Srinagar.

(with inputs from PTI)

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