Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that he felt as if he was being carried along by a "humble" and "respectful" river of people during his 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Gudalur in the Nilgiris.
Mr. Gandhi said there was no hatred or disrespect towards anyone during the yatra and it was this idea of India that some people and organisations were trying to disrupt.
Mr. Gandhi, who had arrived in the Nilgiris from Wayanad, addressed a public gathering in Gudalur town. "As I was walking through the town, I felt like I was travelling on a river of men, women, children, all together without hatred or disrespect. The river was humble and respectful. No one was told that they could not speak in Tamil, Kannada or English," he said.
He said some people and organisations were trying to disturb this idea of India through hatred, anger and violence, adding that the yatra was to stop this from happening and bring people together through a message of unity.
The Congress leader also said that both demonetisation as well as the Goods and Services Tax had been universally branded "disasters" by farmers, workers and small businesses. Mr. Gandhi spoke out against Governors intruding into State issues.
He said that prices of petrol, diesel and essential commodities, were extremely high, and that unemployment was at its highest. "The reason the BJP is spreading hatred and anger is to take your money from your pockets and give it to a select few people," he said.
Police presence was high throughout Gudalur and Pandalur taluks. Mr. Gandhi met delegations from various organizations and listened to their demands. Following his public address in Gudalur, he stayed overnight in the Nilgiris and was scheduled to leave for Karnataka on Friday morning.