Congress began its 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra on September 7 from Kanyakumari. The political campaign, which will take around 150 days to complete, completed its 1000-km mark in Karnataka on Saturday.
A historic event for the Congress and the entire nation, the 3500 km yatra will be the longest march ever undertaken by a politician in India.
The Dandi march by Mahatma Gandhi was the longest foot march ever, covering 389 kilometers in 24 days from Gujarat’s Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi (Navasari).
The Bharat Jodo Yatra reached this 1000 kilometers milestone when it reaches the outskirts of Ballari district, where a massive convention will happen with lakhs of Congress supporters, the party said in its release.
Many co-marchers that included MLAs, MLC, block and district INC committees, workers, cadres and support staff were astonished at the energy level Rahul Gandhi displayed en route, they joined over.
The yatra has so far covered the three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. What surprised the organisers of the Bharat Jodo Yatra are the lakhs of people from common walks of life participating in the historic journey. In Tamil Nadu, over one lakh people joined Rahul Ganmdhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra. In Kerala, it was close to 1.25 lakhs, and in Karnataka, till Friday it was close to 1.50 lakh people a day. It is expected that when the yatra enters Andhra Pradesh, close to 2 lakh people will join this political campaign of the Congress.
As part of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, during its leg in backward areas of Badanavalu village in Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi inaugurated a path with colorful interlocking tiles connecting the Dalit quarters of the village with that of the Lingayat community.
Named ‘Bharat Jodo’ Road, the path was renovated in a matter of 48 hours by the INC which said it aimed to send out a message of harmony among communities. Gandhi even laid some of the pink-and-blue tiles himself.
Rahul Gandhi during the stretch of Karnataka in Chitradurga met a number of women from the tribal communities and interacted with them they were from Banjara, Dakkaliga, Sudugadu Siddha, Dombaru, Dhombi Dasa and elicited their views on how their lives could be improved.
This is the first time when a national leader of a national party of the stature of Rahul Gandhi visited them. The women were dressed in their traditional dresses and even presented a dance in his honour and welcomed him by performing an aarti.
Rahul Gandhi who has expressed his deep concern for the unemployed youth in various stages of his life as a parliamentarian chose to interact with over 2000 unemployed youth from all over Karnataka.
He met them and inquired with them about their strengths and skills and the causes for their unemployment and how they led their lives and supported their families. This was in Chellakere in the Chitradurga district.
Despite many lakhs of people joining the yatra in various stages, it was scheduled in two sessions 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 7 pm and in the intermittent period, Rahul made it sure that he met people from ordinary walks of life -farmers, fisherfolk (both inland and marine) construction workers, teachers, village level leaders and even some prominent people, writers scholars and intellectuals at various points of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
In ways more than many, the Bharat Jodo Yatra for the first 1000 kilometers of out a total of 3,750 kilometers, has achieved its objective of ‘Bharat Jodo,’ the Yatra has adequately illustrated how diverse a country as India and its entire diaspora could be seen as one, transcending the barriers of caste, religion, language, regions and cultures and seen as one.
(With Agency Inputs)
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