Cadre seeks relaunch of Bharat Jodo Yatra
Congress working committee members have urged Rahul Gandhi to undertake another Bharat Jodo Yatra, this time from the east to west, raising expectations for the second phase of the foot march that has covered Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
A number of Congress working committee (CWC) members on Saturday urged Rahul Gandhi to undertake another Bharat Jodo Yatra, this time from the east to west, raising expectations for the second phase of the foot march that has covered Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
“It is under consideration,” former finance minister P Chidambaram said at a press briefing.
Such a yatra can be planned after the upcoming assembly polls in the window between January and March next year, another member of the working committee said on condition of anonymity.
The second phase of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is expected to start from Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh and end at Porbandar in Gujarat, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Unlike the first march, this one may not be entirely on foot. Gandhi might use vehicles or boats to cover certain areas in the second phase, Congress have said in the past.
“It entirely depends on Rahul Gandhi. Also, any planning for the yatra can only start after the special session of Parliament,” said the committee member.
The first Bharat Jodo Yatra became India’s longest foot march after it covered 75 districts in 126 days, starting from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 last year. It covered a total distance of 4,080 km before ending in Srinagar in Kashmir on January 30.
While Gandhi’s image transformation was a key achievement of the march, the Bharat Jodo Yatra also helped the Congress electorally in some states such as Karnataka, party members said. “If the yatra takes place in January, it would be right before the Lok Sabha polls,” the working committee member said.
Chidambaram said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed one nation, one election has been rejected by the working committee. Terming it as an “assault on the Constitution and attack on federalism,” Chidambaram argued that such a move requires a constitutional amendment, but the Bharatiya Janata Party doesn’t have the numbers to amend the Constitution.
“If BJP presses for it, it will be only to divert attention,” he said.