Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Nyay Yatra’ from Manipur to Mumbai to start on Jan 14


New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday announced it will hold ‘Bharat Nyay Yatra’ led by Rahul Gandhi from Manipur to Mumbai, passing through 14 states and 85 districts from east to west of India in 67 days, beginning January 14, an exercise seen as party’s attempt to rally support ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Nyay Yatra, which will cover around 6,200 km – mostly on buses with stretches of walking – and conclude on March 20, comes nearly a year after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi completed Bharat Jodo Yatra on foot from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, traversing over 4,000 km in 136 days.

While Gandhi raised the issues of “economic disparities, polarisation and dictatorship” during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Nyay Yatra will focus on social, economic and political justice for the people of the country, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said at a press conference.

The yatra will be flagged off by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge from Imphal on January 14 and will pass through Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The march is being seen as politically significant in the wake of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which are likely to be held in April-May. The announcement of the polls may coincide with the last leg of the Yatra.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started on September 7, 2022, was credited by the Congress for its electoral gains in assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, claiming it had enthused its ranks and file and revitalised the party’s connect with the masses.

“After the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress will take out a Bharat Nyay Yatra under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi ji,” Ramesh said.

He also said the Congress will hold a mega rally in Nagpur on December 28 on the occasion of the party’s foundation day. The rally, named ‘Hain Tayyar Hum” (we are ready), will sound the bugle for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for the Congress.

Congress general secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal said interactions will be held with women, youths and marginalised communities during the Nyay Yatra.

It will cover more distance than the Bharat Jodo Yatra in lesser time as majority of the Nyay Yatra will be by bus along with short stretches of walking.

The Yatra was announced following a unanimous resolution of the Congress Working Committee on December 21 that Gandhi should undertake the second phase of the yatra from the east to the west of India.

Asked about the rationale behind choosing Manipur as the starting point of the Yatra, Venugopal said it is an important part of the country and also the party wanted to begin the process of “healing the wounds” of the people of the northeastern state.

Manipur witnessed one of the worst ethnic conflicts between the Kuki and Meitei communities, resulting in more than 200 deaths and leaving nearly 60,000 people homeless since the violence broke out on May 3.

“After spreading the message of unity, love and harmony through Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi will seek justice for the people of the country,” Ramesh said.

In a post on X, Ramesh said while the Bharat Jodo Yatra was anchored in the Constitution’s Preamble’s pillars of “liberty, equality and fraternity”, the Bharat Nyay Yatra is anchored in the Preamble’s very first pillar of justice — social, economic and political.

“The repeated assaults on the Constitution will not be allowed to succeed!” he said.

To a question whether the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) parties will also participate in the Yatra, Venugopal said the final details were being worked out.

Ramesh pointed out that leaders of various political parties had also participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra covered 75 districts and 76 Lok Sabha constituencies across 12 states and two Union territories.

During the course of the Yatra, Gandhi addressed 12 public meetings, more than 100 street-corner meetings and 13 press conferences. He held more than 275 planned walking interactions and over 100 sitting interactions.


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