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AICC General Secretary (Org) and MP, KC Venugopal said today that the upcoming ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ is a non-political initiative aimed at addressing the concerns of the common people. Speaking at a press conference in Kohima, Venugopal clarified that the yatra, scheduled to commence on January 15 in Nagaland, aims to bring attention to the sentiments, issues, and sorrows of the public.

Photo: X@NagalandCongress

Rahul Gandhi will kick off the yatra, with AICC president Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge inaugurating it on January 14 in Imphal, Manipur. The objective of the yatra is to seek justice for the disillusioned youth of the country who are grappling with unemployment.

Venugopal emphasized the need for the government to address the aspirations of the youth, women, and impoverished citizens, stating that the yatra is a historic initiative generating enthusiasm among party workers and the public.

Venugopal is currently in Kohima for preparatory meetings for Yatra in Nagaland. Venugopal was accompanied by AICC in-charge of Nagaland Girish Chodankar, NPCC president Supongmeren Jamir, and former NPCC president K Therie during the press conference.

It may be noted that the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which will be led by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will cover a distance of 257 km in Nagaland in two days covering 5 districts including Kohima, Tseminyu, Wokha, Zunheboto (VK Area), and Mokokchung before entering Assam.

Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, or popularly known as Manipur to Mumbai march, will begin on January 14 in Imphal in the presence of several senior Congress leaders, including CMs and MPs from across the country.

The Congress party has termed Rahul Gandhi’s journey as a campaign against the economic, social and political deprivation of the ruling BJP.

6700 km in 67 days

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will cover a total distance of 6700 km in 67 days. The yatra is a strategic move by the Congress party ahead of the upcoming national elections and serves as a sequel to the earlier Bharat Jodo Yatra.

During this 66-day-long journey, Rahul Gandhi will traverse approximately 6,713 kilometers (about 4,171 miles), covering 14 states and 85 districts. The yatra will pass through Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat before reaching Maharashtra. It is expected to engage with 355 Lok Sabha constituencies, which accounts for roughly 65% of all parliamentary seats in India.

The Congress party has highlighted that the Bharat Nyaya Yatra will not be entirely on foot; instead, it will adopt a hybrid mode of travel, utilizing buses for longer stretches due to time constraints imposed by the general election and health concerns of the party’s elderly leaders. However, Rahul Gandhi will also engage in short walks for certain distances, known as padayatras, to connect with people on a more personal level.

The slogan for the yatra is “Nyay Ka Haq Milne Tak” (“Until we get our right to justice”), emphasizing the pursuit of justice for all. The Congress party intends to raise awareness about various injustices, including unemployment, inflation, the rich-poor divide, and issues related to farmers, while also promoting social justice by addressing caste census and advocating for the equitable development of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

This initiative by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party is a concerted effort to present an alternative narrative to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s policies.

Manipur Govt yet to grant permission

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on January 9 spoke on Congress’ ‘Bharat Nyay Yatra’, stating that the current law and order situation in the state is critical, according to a report by India Today NE.

“The decision to permit Rahul Gandhi’s rally is under active consideration. Reports from various security agencies are being reviewed. A definitive decision will be made after the assessment of these reports”, said CM N Biren Singh while speaking to the media.

The Congress party, led by Rahul Gandhi, has planned a Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which is scheduled to commence from Imphal on January 14th and conclude in Mumbai on March 20th.

However, the state government has not yet granted permission for the launch of this 6,500km yatra. Congress officials, including general secretary K C Venugopal and Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president Keisham Meghachandra, have met with the chief secretary and urged Chief Minister N Biren Singh to prioritize peace over party politics, emphasizing that the yatra aims to ensure the future of Manipur and is not merely a political endeavor.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh has reportedly expressed concerns about the current law and order situation in the state, which has been experiencing ethnic violence since May 2023, resulting in significant casualties and injuries. The unrest has primarily involved conflicts between the majority Meitei community and the Kuki-Zo tribal community. In light of these tensions, the Chief Minister has indicated that the decision to permit the Congress-led rally is under active consideration, with reports from various security agencies being reviewed to assess the potential impact on the already delicate situation in Manipur.

BJP mocks Congress’ Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a government event in Assam’s Golaghat on Monday. Rijiju mocked Gandhi’s proposed ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,’ stating that the Congress leader is like a child holding yatras for fun. He dismissed the significance of Gandhi’s yatra and asserted that the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, led by the BJP, is aimed at benefiting the people. Rijiju criticized Gandhi’s controversial statements and claimed that the Congress leader has never undertaken beneficial work. He dismissed Gandhi as immature, describing him as a baby with childish thoughts.

Meanwhile, the BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla ridiculed Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, suggesting that its sole purpose is to “relaunch and rebrand” the Wayanad MP, ANI reported. Poonawalla taunted the Congress for losing ground in various states and claimed that the yatra is an attempt to “reposition” the party.

“…The way they have lost three states, the way Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal have no confidence in him and are proposing Mallikarjun Kharge’s name, and the way the Congress is slowly losing itself to the INDI alliance, this is surely a yatra for relaunching and rebranding Rahul Gandhi and re-positioning the Congress party,” Poonawala said.

The political landscape in India is undergoing a significant transition as parties gear up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) consortium is gearing up to challenge the established National Democratic Alliance. The verbal sparring between the BJP and Congress reflects the intense competition and strategic maneuvers shaping the political narrative in the country.

The ANI report said the INDIA bloc is struggling to resolve key challenges, including finalising seat-sharing arrangements and, most importantly, deciding on a PM face, while the BJP has started executing strategies it laid out in 2023 to secure victory in general elections.

The allocation of seats becomes pivotal for Congress, especially after the recent electoral setbacks.

MTNews Desk

(With inputs from agencies)

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