Rahul launches Cong’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin presenting the national flag to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Kanyakumari on Wednesday. (UNI)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin presenting the national flag to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Kanyakumari on Wednesday. (UNI)

Sonia hopes it will rejuvenate party


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today flagged off party’s ambitious ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari, the coastal town in Tamil Nadu, with an assertion that he will not lose his country to hate and accused the BJP-RSS of trying to divide the country on religious lines.
Eyeing the revival of the crisis-ridden party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the party chief Sonia Gandhi described the march as a “landmark occasion” and hoped that the march would help rejuvenate the grand old party.
“I lost my father to the politics of hate and division. I will not lose my beloved country to it too. Love will conquer hate. Hope will defeat fear. Together, we will overcome,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted as he paid floral tribute to his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at his memorial in Sriperumbudur, hours before the formal launch of the 3,570 km-long yatra.
Addressing a rally at the launch of the yatra, Rahul Gandhi tore into the BJP, saying, “today every single institution is under attack by the BJP and the RSS… They think they can frighten the opposition using ED, CBI, Income Tax. The problem is they do not understand the Indian people.
“Indian people do not get scared. It doesn’t matter how many hours of interrogation they do, it does not matter, not a single opposition leader is going to be scared of the BJP.”
Gandhi also alleged that the BJP considered the tricolour as their personal property and said the national flag did not come easily as it was earned by the efforts of all Indians belonging to every religion, region and language.
Asserting that it was not enough to salute the flag but also protect its ideas and values, Gandhi said this flag “guarantees everybody the right to practice every religion, to speak every language that one desires. And today, brothers and sisters, this flag is under attack.”
His attack against the BJP over the national flag came in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign last month to encourage people to hoist or display the national flag in their homes. The campaign was part of the Government’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative.
“The BJP thinks that they can divide this country on religious lines, they can divide this country on languages. This country cannot be divided. This country will always remain united,” he said at the rally that was also attended by DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and some civil society members.
The Congress leader said the Congress does not want to crush the voice of the people of India, like the RSS and the BJP does, saying “we want to listen to the wisdom of the people of India.”
Explaining the idea behind the yatra, he said, “it is very important that we bring the people of India together and make sure they are united so that India remains strong. And that is the aim of the Bharat Jodo Yatra which is designed to listen to the people of India.”
Earlier, Stalin handed over the national flag to Rahul Gandhi and both the leaders saluted the tricolour, signifying the broad theme of unity.
Apart from the message of unity, the Congress is seeking to flag economic disparities, social polarisation and political centralisation, while attempting to make gains in what it often described as battle of ideologies through the march that will cover 12 states and two Union Territories that will be covered in 150 days.
At its heart, the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is aspirational –hoping to revive the grand old party– as well as political, targeting the BJP and expecting to bring together parties sharing similar concerns about the challenges confronting the country. (PTI)