The much-touted 3,570-km ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ began at Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu and will move northwards, passing through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nilambur, Mysuru, Bellary, Raichur, Vikarabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Indore, Kota, Dausa, Alwar, Bulandshahr, Delhi, Ambala, Pathankot and Jammu, before culminating in Srinagar.
The Congress party is touting the yatra as the biggest mass contact programme since Independence and a “turning point” in India’s political history. The march will proceed in two batches – from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. While the morning session will include fewer participants, the evening session will see mass mobilisation. The participants plan to walk around 22 to 23 km daily.
The party repeatedly asserted that its ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is not a ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in any manner, but its objective is to ensure that the concerns and demands of the people reach Delhi.
The Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra that begins on Wednesday will see 119 Bharat Yatris ,including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi staying on the road, cooking food at the camp sites and getting access to laundry once in three days for the next 150 days as their yatra (foot march) criss-crosses through 12 States, covering over 3,570 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
The travellers will be sleeping in 59 containers mounted on trucks. Except for Mr. Gandhi, who because of his security detail will have a container to himself, the other yatris have to bunk together. Majority of these containers will sleep 12 persons.
The padayatra will reach Kerala on September 11 and will traverse through the State for the next 18 days, reaching Karnataka on September 30. In case there is voting in the Congress’ presidential election on October 17, all the yatris will be allowed to vote in Bengaluru Congress office as the yatra will be there - PTI
Here are the latest updates
‘PM Modi won’t last a day without support of those who ensure him 24X7 on TV’: Rahul Gandhi
During his address, Rahul says: “BJP government has systematically attacked the farmers, labourers and small businesses. A handful of large businesses control the entire country today — be it ports, airports, coal, power, telecommunication. The Prime Minister will not last one day without their support.
They (large businnesses) control the media and ensure the PM is on television 24x7. In exchange, the PM carries out policies that are in their favour. The idea is very similar what the British used to do — Divide and rule.”
Rahul Gandhi addresses at public meeting
Following the speeches of senior Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and P. Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi addresses during the public meeting at Kanniyakumari shoreline after the Bharat Jodo Yatra was kickstarted.
Mr. Gandhi says: “It gives me great joy to begin the great Yatra at this beautiful place. The Indian national flag represents every single state of our country. It belongs to every religion, language, state and caste. Today, this flag is under attack by the BJP. The BJP thinks this (Indian flag) is their personal property. They (BJP) think they can single-handedly determine the future of this country, the future of all states of this country. They think they can frighten the Opposition through Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and Income Tax department.”
Rahul Gandhi arrives at venue of public meeting
Holding the Indian national flag, Rahul Gandhi reaches the dais of the public meeting that is being held on the shores of Kanniyakumari, following the launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Bharat Jodo Yatra flagged off
Marking the launch of the 150-day Bharat Jodo Yatra, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel jointly hand over the Indian national flag to Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi visits memorials of Vivekananda, Thiruvalluvar
Going on a boat ride, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the statue of Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar and the memorial of Swami Vivekananda, ahead of the launch of his nationwide campaign Bharat Jodo Yatra. He was accompanied by the president of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee K.S. Alagiri and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in Tamil Nadu Assembly K. Selvaperunthagai.
Rahul Gandhi reaches venue
Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi arrives at Kanniyakumari where the 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra is to be flagged off in the presence of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
‘Go to Pakistan for Bharat Jodo’: Assam CM to Rahul Gandhi
Hours ahead of the launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma terms the campaign as a “comedy of the century”. Mr. Sarma who quit Congress in 2015 and joined the BJP, advises Rahul Gandhi to go to Pakistan for the campaign.
Don’t link everything with politics: Digvijaya Singh
When asked about the political implications of the Bharat Jodo Yatra Digvijaya Singh, national coordinator of the Yatra, said everything should not be linked to politics. “Is it not a reality that social polarisation has increased?” Mr. Singh told The Hindu - Sandeep Phukan
‘Situation in India similar to civil war’: Rajasthan CM
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, while addressing media persons at Kanniyakumari, said the situation in the country was alarming, similar to a civil war. He then added that he hoped the situation did not reach that far. Mr. Gehlot is at Kanniyakumari to attend the inaugural of Bharat Jodo Yatra, along with his counterparts from Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh.
Mr Gehlot also said that Rahul Gandhi is best place to strengthen the party in these challenging times. Everyone will work unitedly under his leadership, he added. — Sandeep Phukan
Tamil Nadu CM Stalin reaches Thoothukudi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin who will be handing over the Indian national flag to Rahul Gandhi to kickstart the Bharat Jodo Yatra at Kanniyakumari in the evening, arrives at Thoothukudi airport.
‘Bharat Jodo Yatra is a mission to mobilise people against injustice, inequality and intolerance’: Congress leader Anand Sharma
Senior Congress leader and prominent G-23 member Anand Sharma conveyed his best wishes to former party president Rahul Gandhi for its 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', saying it seeks to uphold India's inclusive democracy and strengthen unity.
"Expressing my solidarity and conveying best wishes to Rahul Gandhi and all Yatris. Bharat Jodo yatra is a mission to uphold India's inclusive democracy, to mobilise people against injustice, inequality and intolerance. Also a commitment to strengthen national unity," he said on Twitter.
"Looking forward to join the Yatra when it reaches near my home state of Himachal enroute to Jammu-Kashmir," he added.
Mr. Sharma is among the G-23 leaders who had sought an organisational overhaul and elections at all levels, in a letter to the Congress president in August 2020.
‘Lost my father to politics of hate’
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi says he lost his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, to the politics of hate and division and that he will not lose his beloved country to it too.
Rahul Gandhi offers floral tributes at his father’s memorial in Sriperumbudur
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the latter’s memorial in Sriperumbudur near here, ahead of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The Wayanad MP, who had arrived at Chennai on Tuesday night, began the day by offering tributes to the former Prime Minister and sat in a silent prayer in his memory. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.
Indu Makkal Katchi founder Arjun Sampath detained
Indu Makkal Katchi founder Arjun Sampath was detained as a preventive measure at Dindigul Town (North) police station on the night of September 6 while he was on his way to Kanniyakumari where former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is beginning his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, on September 7.
Mr. Sampath was travelling from Coimbatore and reached Dindigul via train when he was detained under Section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) of Criminal Procedure Code at Dindigul railway station.
Police said he was “determined to organise a movement named ‘Go back Rahul Gandhi’, about which they even posted on their social media handles, and to wave black flags at the meeting”.
‘Rahul Gandhi’s yatra will open his eyes to new India under PM Modi’: TN BJP president
A day ahead of the launch of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Kanniyakumari by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, in a series of tweets on September 6, Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai took a swipe at the former Congress president, saying the yatra will open his eyes to a self-reliant India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Bharat Jodo Yatra marks a “new beginning”, says Congress
The coastal town of Kanniyakumari is buzzing with activities as the Congress workers are gearing up for the launch of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ today. Posters with “welcome Rahul Gandhi” and “Bharat Jodo Yatra” written in Tamil adorned the walls of the city on India’s southern tip.
Congress said the Bharat Jodo Yatra which is slated to begin today is a turning point in Indian politics and marks a “new beginning”. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to attend an event at 4:30 p.m. in Kanniyakumari where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel will be present.
With the launch of the 3,570 km Yatra at a mega rally here, the Congress is seeking to flag economic disparities, social polarisation and political centralisation, while attempting to make gains in what is often described as the battle of ideologies.