Following a nine-day rest, Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi, started off again, on the cold morning of January 3, from Hanuman Mandir, at Kashmiri Gate of New Delhi. The Yatra entered Uttar Pradesh on this leg of its journey, having already completed over 3,000 km across many states of the country.
While there seems to have been a small setback in Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav declaring that he will not be part of the Yatra, but it did not quite show in the huge gathering that was with Rahul, singing patriotic songs and chanting the ‘Bharat Jodo’ slogan. Akhilesh, though, has thanked Rahul for inviting him to be part of the Yatra and wished Rahul success.
Akhilesh, in a letter, said: “India is a feeling which is beyond geographical expansion, where there is love, non-violence, emotions, co-operation and bonhomie — the positive elements, which unite India. Hope that this yatra achieves its aim of conserving this inclusive culture.”
A large number of Congress leaders gathered to see of Rahul on the next leg of his Yatra, many to participate as well. The Yatra will move through Uttar Pradesh for two days before entering Haryana’s Panipat. That will be by December 5.
Mayawati tweeted on Monday and thanked Rahul for his invite to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra. “I extend my wishes to the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and thank Shri Rahul Gandhi for inviting me,” said Mayawati
The Yatra entered Delhi on December 24 morning and was accorded a warm welcome at the Badarpur border. A large number of workers from Delhi Congress-led by Delhi unit chief Anil Chaudhary welcomed Gandhi and the Yatris at the Delhi border in Badarpur. The yatra entered Delhi from the Faridabad side in Haryana.
Senior party leaders, including former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Shaktisinh Gohil and others accompanied Rahul Gandhi as part of the yatra.
In view of the yatra, the Delhi Traffic Police on Monday issued a travel advisory for the yatra which will start from the central part of the city.
Important points for this Yatra
- The Yatra is scheduled to be a 3,570 km, 150-day march that will cover 12 states and two Union Territories (Delhi & J&K) from across the country in which Rahul Gandhi will meet people during the day and will sleep in makeshift accommodation in the night.
- There are several parallels between the Congress’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and ex-prime minister of India Chandra Shekhar’s nearly 4,260 km long Bharat Yatra in 1983.
- The Yatra has covered more than 110 days and covered 3,122 km from Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari to the Red Fort in Delhi.
- Yatris are scheduled to cover a total of 23 kilometres everyday in 2 shifts.
- The Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, has covered parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra and Haryana. It will culminate in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Yatra will re-enter Haryana on January 6, then head towards Punjab on January 11, where he will stay till January 20. After that, he is scheduled to spend a day in Himachal Pradesh on January 19, and then finally enter Jammu and Kashmir on January 20.
- After the Yatra, which ends in Srinagar on January 26, the Congress will launch the ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo’ campaign, aimed at spreading the message of the Yatra.