Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra begins on January 14 from Imphal

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will travel through 100 Lok Sabha segments in 15 states and the party believes it will prove to be as "transformative" as Rahul Gandhi's earlier cross-country march.

Updated - January 16, 2024 12:15 pm IST

Published - January 14, 2024 01:51 am IST - Imphal

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress will begin the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from the violence-hit Manipur on Sunday, in what is being seen as the party's bid to set the narrative in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls and put the spotlight on issues such as unemployment, price rise and social justice.

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will travel through 100 Lok Sabha segments in 15 states and the party believes it will prove to be as "transformative" as Mr. Gandhi's earlier cross-country march.

The Congress has said that it is taking out the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra as the government did not give it a chance to raise people's issues in Parliament and the initiative is aimed at re-establishing the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Constitution.

Though the Congress has stressed that this is not an electoral yatra, it comes at a crucial juncture as the party seeks to revive its fortunes after a poor showing in the last round of assembly elections.

With the BJP focusing on the January 22 Ram temple consecration ceremony, the Congress wants to put the spotlight on bread-and-butter issues through this yatra.

Mr. Gandhi had on Friday said emotional issues are being "misused" politically and attention is being diverted from real issues, in a "betrayal" of the people of the country.

In a post on X, the former Congress president said, "The youth will have to think about what will be the identity of the India of our dreams? Quality of life or just emotions? Youth raising provocative slogans or the employed youth? Love or hate?".

The yatra will be flagged off from a private ground in Manipur's Thoubal district, instead of Imphal, the party's initial choice.

The state government had given the Congress conditional approval to flag off the yatra from the Palace grounds here, restricting the number of people. Therefore, the Congress decided to opt for another venue.

Manipur has been rocked by ethnic violence since May last year which has claimed over 180 lives.

The violence erupted on May 3 last year after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and all top leaders of the party will be in Thoubal to flag off the yatra.

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra would traverse 6,713 km mostly in buses but also on foot. The yatra will cover 110 districts, 100 Lok Sabha seats and 337 assembly segments in 67 days, before its finale in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.

The Congress has said the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is being organised to raise voice against the "injustice" of the last 10 years. It has released a "Nyay anthem" with the tagline "Saho Mat, Daro Mat (do not suffer, do not be scared)".

The anthem was shared on all the social media handles of the party with a video featuring protesting women wrestlers, glimpses from Mr. Gandhi's Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra and his interactions with farmers and labourers.

The Congress has also invited all leaders of the Indian National Inclusive Developmental Alliance (INDIA) bloc to join the yatra anywhere along its route.

According to the route released by the party, the yatra would stay the longest in Uttar Pradesh, covering 1,074 km in 11 days. It would pass through politically vital areas, including Amethi, the Gandhi family bastion Rae Bareli and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh has asserted that the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra would prove to be as impactful and transformative as the earlier over 4,000-km Bharat Jodo Yatra.

During the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi had raised three big issues of rising inequality, growing social polarisation and increasing political tyranny and authoritarianism, and the way out of this is to ensure justice for people, Ramesh has said.

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will be in Manipur for a day.

It will then enter Nagaland and cover 257 km and five districts in two days before covering 833 km and 17 districts in Assam in eight days.

The yatra will then move to Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya for a day each.

According to the route map, the yatra will be in West Bengal for five days, covering 523 km and seven districts, and in Bihar for four days, covering 425 km and seven districts.

In Jharkhand, the yatra will cover 804 km and 13 districts in eight days.

In Odisha, the yatra will cover 341 km and four districts in four days and cover 536 km and seven districts in Chhattisgarh over five days.

The east-to-west yatra will spend the maximum time in Uttar Pradesh and cover 20 districts.

In Madhya Pradesh, the yatra will cover 698 km and nine districts in seven days. It will cover two districts in Rajasthan in a day.

The yatra will be in Gujarat and Maharashtra for five days each, traversing 445 km and 479 km respectively.

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will conclude in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.

Mr. Gandhi will address gatherings and also interact with civil society members and organisations twice a day during the yatra.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started on September 7, 2022, was credited by the Congress for its electoral gains in assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra covered 75 districts and 76 Lok Sabha constituencies across 12 states and two union territories.

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