Rahul calls Bengal a special place, remains silent on Mamata

State Congress leaders say the district administration denied permission for a public meeting and the posters of Rahul Gandhi were torn at a few places

Updated - January 28, 2024 09:32 pm IST

Published - January 28, 2024 10:03 am IST - Kolkata

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi greets the supporters during the party’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on Wednesday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi greets the supporters during the party’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Highlighting the political contribution of the people of West Bengal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday described the State as a “special place” but maintained a silence on Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Resuming the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra after a two-day break, he led his convoy from Jalpaiguri to Siliguri, often waving to the crowd from the roof of a vehicle.

Mr. Gandhi’s yatra comes days after Ms. Banerjee slammed the door shut on having an electoral alliance with the Congress. In his brief address, the Congress leader said that it was the people of West Bengal who provided the ideology to the country during the freedom struggle.

“You are intellectual people and thinking people. It is your responsibility to guide the country ... If you do not do that, people of the country will not forgive you,” he said. He added that it was not an individual but a collective responsibility of the people to fight against the injustice in the country.

Also Read | Kharge writes to Mamata seeking safety of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in West Bengal

The Congress leader was joined by West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. “The love that I have received in West Bengal I have not got in any other State,” Mr. Gandhi said.

During his address, Mr. Gandhi targeted the BJP government at the Centre and accused it of working only for big corporations.

“Hatred being spread across the country will serve no purpose,” Mr. Gandhi said, urging the people to join him against the ‘campaign of hate’. He also highlighted the unemployment in the country and said that the government was not serious in providing employment to the youth.

Left leaders join yatra

Leaders of the Left parties, including CPI(M) State Secretariat member Jibesh Sarkar, joined Mr. Gandhi’s yatra from Jalpaiguri to Siliguri. Representatives from CPI and RSP were also seen at the yatra. The Congress and Left parties have been in an electoral alliance since 2016.

State Congress leaders said that the district administration denied permission for a public meeting and in several places, the posters of Rahul Gandhi were torn. At places in the rally route, Trinamool Congress had put up posters saying, “Didi is enough for Bengal”. The Chief Minister was currently on a six-day visit to the same north Bengal region that the yatra was traversing.

Congress’s general secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh, who was accompanying Mr. Gandhi, however, once again reached out to the Trinamool Congress chairperson. “Like Congress, Mamata Banerjee has the same objective of standing against the BJP and its ideological parent R.SS. Both the parties will fight for the same goal being partners of INDIA bloc,” he said.

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