Rahul Gandhi turns Potharaju during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Telangana
Hyderabad, November 3, 2022
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi donned the role of Potharaju, symbolically whipping himself during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Telangana's Sangareddy district on Thursday.
Participating in Bonalu, a traditional festival of Telangana, along with party MLA Jagga Reddy, Rahul Gandhi whipped himself.
Potharaju is a character in annual Bonalu processions taken out in Telangana. He is considered to be the brother of seven sister goddesses -- different forms of the goddess "Mahankali".
Leading the procession, Potharaju carries a whip and lashes against his body to the sound of drum beats.
During his Yatra, the Congress MP has been interacting with local people, dancing with local cultural artistes or playing with children.
A day after playing cricket with children during the yatra, Rahul Gandhi turned Potharaju much to the excitement of other leaders and workers walking with him.
Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ramdas and his wife and social activist Lalita Ramdas also joined the yatra.
On the ninth day of his march in Telangana, the yatra entered Sangareddy district.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief A. Revanth Reddy, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, MP Uttam Kumar Reddy and several other leaders and scores of party workers were participating in the yatra.
The foot march will continue in Telangana till November 7 with a one-day break on November 4.
It will cover a total distance of 375 kms in 19 Assembly and seven Parliamentary constituencies in the state. From Telangana, the yatra will enter Maharashtra on November 7.
The 3,750-km Kanyakumari-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra began on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and has since then covered Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Gandhi and his fellow-yatris are expected to reach Kashmir in February.