Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday lambasted his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma for his remarks on Congress` Bharat Jodo Yatra and said the BJP leader has been “spewing venom” after visiting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office. Speaking to reporters here, Baghel said, “He is spewing venom. He must have visited the RSS office and seen `Akhand Bharat`s map. BJP says Muslims to be sent to Pakistan as well as the country to be merged for `Akhand Bharat`. What does it mean to send them and merge later?”
This comes after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a jibe at Congress` Bharat Jodo Yatra which was kickstarted on Wednesday and said that the party should conduct this campaign in Pakistan if “they want to start the campaign,” while stressing that “India is connected and united.”
Sarma said that India was divided in 1947 and there is no benefit to starting the Bharat Jodo Yatra in India. “India was divided in 1947 during Congress. If they want to start Bharat Jodo Yatra, then Rahul Gandhi should do this in Pakistan. What are the benefits of doing this Yatra in India? India is connected, and united. I want to suggest Rahul Gandhi take the Bharat Jodo Yatra programme to Pakistan,” the Assam CM told ANI on Tuesday.
Further on Bharat Jodo Yatra, Baghel said, “There will be a discussion on inflation, unemployment, issues related to people`s suffering. Efforts will be made to stop the spread of hatred.” In what is being seen as a Congress` “masterstroke” to take on the Narendra Modi government in the upcoming 2024 elections, Congress launched the `Bharat Jodo Yatra` on Wednesday in which Rahul Gandhi started the 3,570 km journey lasting about 150 days from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
As the party begins the nationwide yatra, some pertinent questions arise about the lodging and flooding of Rahul Gandhi. However, the party has made it clear that he will not stay in any hotel but rather will complete the entire journey in a simple manner. Rahul Gandhi is going to stay in the container for the next 150 days. Sleeping beds, toilets and air-conditioners are also installed in some of the containers.
During the journey, the temperature and environment will differ in many areas. The arrangements have been made keeping in view the intense heat and humidity with the change of places. “About 60 such containers have been prepared and sent to Kanyakumari where a village has been set up in which all these containers have been placed. The container will be parked in a new place every day in the shape of a village for night rest. Full-time Yatris who stay with Rahul Gandhi will eat together and stay close,” said the sources.
The sources further said that Rahul Gandhi considers the Bharat Jodo Yatra journey as a way to connect with the common people. “So he wants to complete this entire journey in a simple way away from the glitz and glamour. Rahul Gandhi calls it a journey but political analysts consider it a preparation for 2024,” the sources added.
Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi attended a prayer meeting at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial in Sriperumbudur on Wednesday. Sriperumbudur is where his father Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a bomb blast on May 21, 1991, while campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls. Rahul Gandhi paid floral tribute at his father`s memorial.
“I lost my father to the politics of hate and division. I will not lose my beloved country to it too. Love will conquer hate. Hope will defeat fear. Together, we will overcome,” he tweeted.
Local Congress leaders including Karnataka state party chief DK Shivakumar were present at the prayer meeting. After the prayer meet, Rahul Gandhi left for Kanyakumari where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin presented him with the Tricolour. The Congress leader addressed a rally which officially kickstarted the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress party`s general secretary, on Tuesday asserted that through the `Bharat Jodo Yatra` people will be united on issues like inflation, and unemployment among other matters of public importance.
“We are starting a positive politics. We want to hear from you, we want to solve your problems. We want to unite our beloved country. Let us unite India together,” Priyanka said in a Facebook video.
Politics today has turned a blind eye towards people and their issues, she added. “Political discussion today isn`t focusing on the people of the country, it has taken a different turn altogether. Politics today has turned a blind eye towards people and their issues. Through this `yatra` we want to bring out the problems and concerns of the common man,” Priyanka said.
The senior Congress party leader urged people to join the `yatra,` adding that people should unite to make the country prosperous. The yatra will proceed mainly through 12 states, including Himachal Pradesh, where Assembly polls are due later this year.