The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) is all set to welcome to Kerala the Bharat Jodo Yatra being led by All India Congress Committee (AICC) former president Rahul Gandhi, raising the slogan ‘Mile Kadam, Jude Vatan’ (step by step, unite India)
The Congress party has completed all arrangements for welcoming the 3,500-km-long march which enters Kerala on Saturday night. The State’s traditional art forms and percussion bands will welcome Mr. Gandhi and his padayatris, or people who are walking with him, through the long journey across the country. Many partymen from Kerala will join the padayatra.
The padayatra began from Kanyakumari on September 7. By Saturday night, the yatra will reach Cheruvarakonam, Parassala, on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, MP, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan, AICC General Secretary Tariq Anwar, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, former Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, UDF convener M. M. Hassan, Bharat Jodo Yatra State coordinator Kodikkunnil Suresh and other Congress leaders will gather at Parassala on Sunday morning to welcome the yatra. AICC General Secretary K. C. Venugopal has been accompanying the padayatra right from Kanyakumari.
The march will cross seven districts in the State. From Thiruvananthapuram till Thrissur, the yatra will go via the national highway and from Thrissur till Nilambur, it will take the State roads. Partymen and people from districts which are not along the way of the padayatra will also join the march.
The yatra will be on the road from 7 a.m till 11 a.m and from 4 p.m. till 7 p.m. The time in between will be used by Mr. Gandhi to interact with the youth, partymen, farmers and workers from various sectors.
There are 300 padayatris in the march and the Congress party in the State is making arrangements for their food and accommodation. The yatra will go on in Kerala for 19 days.
The KPCC has formed subcommittees to prepare the list of people who would want to interact with Mr. Gandhi, organising publicity campaigns and to ensure that the padayatra does not disrupt public life and there are no legal issues.
A 24-hour control room has been set up at the KPCC headquarters. Reception committees are functioning in all districts.
A statement issued by the KPCC said the yatra had been receiving a “very emotional response” from the people.
The help and cooperation of State Police chief and district administrators have been sought so that increased public participation does not create any traffic snarls. The KPCC has also appealed to the police to ensure that information about traffic restrictions are given to the public ahead.
The yatra will be in Thiruvananthapuram district from September 11-14. On September 14 afternoon, it will enter Kollam district. From September 17-20, the march will be through Alappuzha. On September 21-22, it will pass through Ernakulam, on September 23-25 through Thrissur, and September 26-27 in Palakkad.
The yatra will pass through Malappuram district on September 28-29, and through Gudallur in Tamil Nadu and enter Karnataka later.