Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra resumes from Delhi, enters Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi, January 3, 2023
The Congress party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, with its former president Rahul Gandhi at the helm, resumed from the national capital this morning after a nine-day break.
The Kanyakumari-Kashmir yatra resumed from Yamuna Bazaar in and entered Uttar Pradesh through the Loni border in the afternoon.
Gandhi arrived at the starting point with senior leader Ambika Soni to loud cheers from hundreds of Congress workers and many leaders who were present.
As the yatra entered Uttar Pradesh, AICC General Secretary in-charge of UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, welcomed Rahul Gandhi and the other yatris at Loni and called her elder brother a "fighter".
Addressing the gathering, Priyanka Gandhi said, "I'm proud of my elder brother. People are raising questions about his security, but God will keep him safe as he is fighting for the country and is on the path of truth."
She said that, as the Yatra moves towards Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, people should remember that unity is key to development.
"The BJP spent spent crores of rupees to tarnish his (Rahul Gandhi's) image, but nobody can buy my brother," she said.
Earlier, former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief A. S. Dulat joined Rahul Gandhi in the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Delhi.
Dulat joined the Yatra and walked alongside Rahul Gandhi for some time before the yatra entered Uttar Pradesh.
Dulat was also the former Special Director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau. After retirement, he served as an adviser on Jammu and Kashmir in the Prime Minister's Office from January 2000 to May 2004.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also joined the Yatra in Delhi.
Priyanka Gandhi and other UP Congress workers were lined at the Loni border to welcome the yatra.
The 150-day, 3,570 km Kanyakumari-Kashmir march on foot is scheduled to end on January 30 with Rahul Gandhi hoisting the flag in Srinagar.
The yatra, which began from the Gandhi Mandapam at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, has covered 3,122 km in the first leg.
Over 108 days in the first leg, Gandhi and the other yatris walked through 49 districts in nine States and one Union Territory -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
The yatris reached the Red Fort in Delhi on December 24, after which they took a nine-day break during which many of them went back to be with their families for a few days. The time was utilised by the organisers to modify the containers, in which the yatris spend the nights, to make them suitable for the extremely harsh winter in north India.
The yatra will pass through Uttar Pradesh for three days before re-entering Haryana on January 6. It will cover Punjab from January 11-20, entering Himachal Pradesh for one day on January 19, finally enter Jammu and Kashmir on January 20 and end in Srinagar on January 30.
During the yatra, which covers a distance of around 25 km in a day, Gandhi and the other yatris and Congress leaders meet and interact with hundreds of people.
"The message of Bharat Jodo is not limited only to the 12 states and two Union Territories through which the Yatra passes. Several state-level Yatras have already been announced, and the upcoming 'Haath se Haath Jodo Abhiyan' will take the message of Bharat Jodo to the door step of every Indian," Jairam Ramesh, party spokesperson had said.