Akhilesh, Mayawati thank Rahul Gandhi for Bharat Jodo Yatra invite, as Yatra set to enter U.P.

Both leaders hope Yatra will be a success, but are unlikely to participate in it

January 02, 2023 10:23 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - Lucknow

Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati | File Photo

Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati | File Photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Top Opposition leaders of Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati, extended greetings to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, which will enter the State on Tuesday and cover a distance of 120 km before crossing over to Haryana on Thursday. In all likelihood these Opposition leaders will skip the Yatra.

Thanking Mr. Gandhi for the invite, four-time U.P. Chief Minister Mayawati wrote on Twitter: “Best wishes for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and thanks for inviting me to take part in the Yatra.” SP chief Yadav in a letter said, “Thank you for your invitation to ‘Bharat Jodo’ and congratulations on the success of the ‘Bharat Jodo’ mission.”

The SP leader hoped the Yatra will achieve its goal of protecting the pluralistic culture of the country. “More than a geographic entity, India is an emotion, in which harmony, love, non-violence, compassion and co-operation are the key components that bind the country together,” added Mr. Yadav in his letter. Interestingly, Mr. Yadav said last week that he hasn’t received any invite for the Yatra, while the Congress maintained that it had sent invitations to many leaders of the State.

Also Read: Bharat Jodo Yatra brings Opposition faultlines to the fore in Uttar Pradesh

The Congress’s Yatra will enter U.P. through Loni in Ghaziabad district on Tuesday and will pass through Mavi Kalan, Sisana, Sarurpur and Barot in Baghpat district on Wednesday. The following day, the yatra will enter Shamli district’s Kandhla, and pass through Uncha village and Kairana before entering Haryana.

The Congress welcomed the response of the Opposition leaders. “The purpose of this holy yatra is to unify India, bring together everyone who wants to see a pluralist and united India against hatred, animosity and evil designs of the ruling BJP. We thank other Opposition leaders sending their wishes as the Yatra enters U.P.,” Pramod Tiwari, a senior Congress Rajya Sabha member who has been a pillar of the party in U.P. for four decades, told The Hindu.

Mr. Yadav’s letter came days after he had made some scathing comments about the Congress. In a press conference on December 29, Yadav ruled out an alliance with the Congress. “The principles of our party are different from them (Congress). For us, BJP and Congress are one,” he had said.

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