After paying tribute and attention on September 7 at the Sriperumbudur memorial near Chennai, the site of his father Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will launch the ‘Bharat Jodi Yatra’ (rally to unite India) in Kanyakumari. The visit is being seen by the party as the longest rally in the country in the last century.
Urging everyone to participate in the yatra, Congress last week said the rally is meant to provide an alternative to the “politics of fear, bigotry and prejudice” and economics of livelihood destruction, rising unemployment and rising inequalities.
The Congress on Tuesday unveiled the logo, tagline, pamphlet and website for the Yatra. The tagline or slogan of the nationwide foot march is “Mile Kadam, Jude Watan” (Let’s go together, unite the nation).
Speaking at the launch, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said that anyone willing to join the yatra can connect with Rahul Gandhi by registering on the website http://www.bharatjodoyatra.in.
The padayatra (foot march) will begin on September 7 in Kanyakumari and will end in Jammu and Kashmir. The yatra will run for four days in Tamil Nadu from September 7 to 10. From the next day onwards, this journey will continue from the neighbouring state of Kerala.
The Congress ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will cover a total distance of 511 km in Karnataka in 21 days, party state president DK Shivakumar said on Monday.
“Some places out of 511 km in our state cover forest areas. The travel in those areas will be decided by the AICC after discussions with the local authorities and the police. This yatra will run for 21 days in eight districts of the state and all our leaders and workers will participate in it. He said that the distance to be covered daily would be decided based on local conditions and visits to be done at the local level.
March will cover 12 states and two union territories. It will be about 3,500 km long and will be completed in about 150 days, senior party leader Jairam Ramesh told reporters last week.
As part of the preparatory exercise, security officials will soon visit the Sriperumbudur memorial. Congress party sources told PTI that work is being done to ensure proper arrangements in Sriperumbudur keeping in mind the objective of the party’s nationwide visit.
Prayer, a theme based on the tricolour to invoke nationalist sentiments to overthrow the BJP rule at the Centre, is being discussed.
Rahul Gandhi’s father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were assassinated by a suicide bomber Dhanu in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. This is Rahul Gandhi’s first visit to the memorial.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday held a meeting with civil society members at a convention where plans for the party’s upcoming “Bharat Jodi Yatra” from Kanyakumari to Kashmir were shared and discussed.
More than 150 civil society organizations, professionals and unions like Aruna Roy, Syeda Hameed, Sharad Bihar, PV Rajagopal, Bezwada Wilson, Devnura Mahadeva, GN Devi and Yogendra Yadav participated in the ‘Bharat Jodi Yatra Conclave’.
Several prominent civil society members and political leaders including Yogendra Yadav, Jairam Ramesh and Digvijay Singh were present during the meeting held at the Constitution Club in Delhi. Earlier, Singh presented the details of the “Bharat Jodi Yatra” to civil society representatives and invited speakers on people’s issues to participate in it.
At the conference, Rahul Gandhi said the yatra was like a “penance” for him and he was ready for a “long fight” to unite the country.