Bharat Jodo Yatra is not to project Rahul Gandhi as Congress’s Prime Ministerial face: Jairam Ramesh

“I do not think you should trivialise the Bharat Jodo Yatra.”

January 07, 2023 03:01 pm | Updated 09:56 pm IST - Karnal (Haryana)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves to the supporters while leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves to the supporters while leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. | Photo Credit: ANI

Bharat Jodo Yatra has not been organised to project Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.

Asserting that the march had nothing to do with elections, Mr. Ramesh said that the former Congress president had succeeded in highlighting the three big issues of economic inequality, social polarisation and political authoritarianism. Mr. Ramesh was addressing a press conference at Karnal in Haryana.

“The Bharat Jodo Yatra has not been taken out to project Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Ministerial candidate. It is an ideological yatra and Gandhi is its main face. But it is not an individual’s yatra,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“I do not think you should trivialise the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Do not reduce it to individuals or elections, the yatra is functioning at a much higher level,” he added.

He asserted that the Kanniyakumari-to-Kashmir padayatra, which is currently passing through Haryana, is not an “election yatra” and said it was “unfair” to ask if the principal Opposition party was projecting Mr. Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial face.

“No, No, No....We are not, this is not an election yatra,” he said, adding,“There are 200 Bharat yatris. It is the Congress party’s yatra. The party workers are involved. Obviously, the nation’s attention is on Rahul Gandhi because he is the most visible, prominent and dynamic face of the yatra. But this is not meant for one individual, this is not meant to project him as a Prime Ministerial candidate”.

Accompanied by former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at the press conference, Mr. Ramesh said the yatra was meant to ideologically combat the RSS and the BJP. He said it was to awaken the country’s conscience to “the disaster and the damage” being caused by the personality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his mode of functioning, policies, politics of harassment and politics of vendetta.

“Rahul Gandhi has raised three big issues during the Bharat Jodo Yatra — economic inequality, social polarisation and political authoritarianism. He is raising these issues everyday during his walking interactions, his talking interactions, in his corner speeches, in his rallies. So I think it is unfair for you to ask this question: ‘Are we projecting him as a Prime Ministerial face?’ We are not. This is not an election yatra,” he said.

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