Congress leader Rahul Gandhi resumed his Bharat Jodo Yatra, or “unite India march” on Friday in Haryana where he hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party over issues surrounding unemployment, demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Agnipath scheme.
The march had entered Haryana from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening. However, Mr. Gandhi left for Delhi to meet his ailing mother Sonia Gandhi the same evening. He resumed the march from Sanoli Khurd in Panipat district on Friday.
Taking a dig at the BJP-led-government at the Centre, Mr. Gandhi said the decisions of implementing demonetisation and GST taken by the BJP were not just two policies, but weapons to destroy small and medium businesses. “..GST and demonetisation have destroyed business in the country,” he said, addressing a gathering at Panipat.
Hitting out at the BJP government in Haryana, Mr. Gandhi said Haryana has left every other State behind in unemployment, and it has become the national champion of unemployment. “Today there is 38% unemployment here. The entire youth power of Haryana is going away. Earlier, Panipat was the centre of small and medium industries, thousands of small businesses used to run, and lakhs of people got employment, but suddenly the BJP implemented demonetisation and the ill-conceived GST, which destroyed the small and medium industries,” he said.
Mr. Gandhi said that two Indias exist today: one India is that of farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, and unemployed youth, an India for crores of people. The other India, he said, belongs to the richest 200-300 people. “Do you see justice in this? If our government comes, we will come up with a NYAY yojana (scheme). ₹72,000 will be directly deposited in the account of every poor person, farmer, labourer, every year,” he said.
Mr. Gandhi added that the yatra has eradicated hatred in the country. “..The BJP has spread fear and hatred across the country. All the schemes of the BJP spread fear and then turn that fear into hatred. There is no hate in this journey. Bharat Jodo Yatra has eradicated hatred,” he said.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that Rahul Gandhi is fighting a battle against inflation and unemployment, and this battle has to be won. “The present government is not concerned about reducing inflation. Ever since the BJP government has been formed, its entire focus is only on contesting elections,” he said.
The rally was attended by other senior leaders including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Udaybhan, Kumari Selja, Kuldeep Sharma and Deepender Hooda.
In Haryana, the first phase of the march was held from December 21-23. The march went through Nuh, Gurugram and Faridabad districts. The Bharat Jodo Yatra began on September 7, 2022, from Kanyakumari and is slated to end with the hoisting of the national flag by Mr. Gandhi in Srinagar on January 30.