Congress announces follow-up campaign to Bharat Jodo Yatra 

Haath-se-Haath Jodo will be a nationwide three-tier public engagement programme at the block, district and State level, due to run for two months from January 26

December 04, 2022 09:49 pm | Updated 09:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with folk singer Prahlad Singh Tipaniya and other supporters during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Lala Khedi village, Madhya Pradesh, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with folk singer Prahlad Singh Tipaniya and other supporters during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Lala Khedi village, Madhya Pradesh, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

As the Bharat Jodo Yatra — a 3,500 km march from Kanyakumari to Srinagar on foot, led by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi — is set to conclude on Republic Day 2023, the Congress intends to immediately follow it up with a two-month long countrywide intensive public engagement programme, Haath-se-Haath Jodo, the party announced on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the party’s steering committee finalised the new campaign, the Congress general secretary for organisation K.C. Venugopal said that the party reviewed the response it has received for its Bharat Jodo Yatra and decided to keep the momentum going. “As a follow-up to the Bharat Jodo Yatra, we have decided to hold a massive campaign, Haath-se-Haath Jodo (meaning Hand in Hand Together) from January 26 onwards. This will go on for two months. There will be block level padayatras (foot-marches) covering all gram panchayats and booths,” he said.

During this campaign, the party will distribute a letter from Mr. Gandhi on the Congress’ core message, as well as their ‘chargesheet’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government since 2014. There will be efforts specially meant to connect with the youth through bike rallies and other engagements, he added.

It will be a three-tier campaign, explained the Congress general secretary for communications, Jairam Ramesh. “We will conduct padayatras (foot marches) at block and booth level, conferences at the district level and public rallies in the state Capitals,” he said.

Mr. Ramesh added that the Bharat Jodo Yatra has already crossed seven States, covering a distance of 2,500 km, with another 1,100 kms sill to go. On Sunday evening, it will enter Rajasthan at Jhalawar, the former Chief Minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje’s home turf.

“The yatra will enter Delhi on December 24. Here, we will halt for four days for some maintenance work and then carry on for the last leg. Mr. Gandhi and the Bharat Yatris will reach Srinagar around January 26, where we will conclude the yatra by hoisting the flag,” Mr. Ramesh added.

He also pointed out that in the States which the Bharat Jodo Yatra is not crossing, the party’s State units are holding parallel yatras. “On December 15, the State-wide yatra in Assam will end. Between November 19-28, a yatra covering all 60 Assembly segments was held in Tripura. Jharkhand also organised a similar yatra, and on December 28, yatra will begin in West Bengal and Bihar. We had to halt the yatra in Odisha temporarily because of byelections. It will resume there on December 9,” Mr. Ramesh noted.

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