Congress launches Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur
‘We understand your pain, will bring back harmony, peace’ — Rahul Gandhi
IMPHAL — Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday embarked on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from violence-hit Manipur’s Thoubal district, with a promise to bring peace and harmony in the ethnic violence-hit state.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and other top leaders of the party including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Tengangana Chief Minister Anumula Revanth Reddy were present during the launching ceremony of the yatra at Khongjom, 35 km south of Manipur capital Imphal.
Addressing a public meeting in Thoubal, Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying perhaps for the BJP and the RSS, Manipur was not a part of India.
“Lakhs of people faced losses, but the prime minister has not come here to wipe your tears, hold your hand or embrace you. Maybe for Narendra Modi, the BJP and the RSS, Manipur is not a part of India. Your pain is not their pain,” Gandhi said.
“We understand the pain that the people of Manipur have been through. Manipur has lost what it valued the most because of the politics of the BJP-RSS and the hatred they instill,” he said.
“We will bring back the harmony, peace and affection that the state has always been known for,” the Congress leader assured.
It may be mentioned that the violence that broke out in the northeastern state in May last year has claimed more than 180 lives and rendered thousands homeless.
“Why Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra? Because we are enduring a period of profound injustice in India — social, economic and political. Injustice persists against people and traditions, with widespread issues across the nation,” he said.
Gandhi also alleged that economically, monopolies are forming in the country and that a few individuals are having access to the nation’s entire wealth.
BJP mixes religion and politics, says Kharge
Earlier, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also slammed the prime minister, saying that he came to the northeastern state only to seek votes and not to share the grief when the people of the state are in pain.
“Modi has time to drive by the sea, take a dip in the sea but has not come to Manipur. Modi keeps chanting ‘Ram, Ram’, but he should not do it to seek votes. The BJP mixes religion and politics, and incites people,” he said at the launch of the yatra.
“The BJP has ‘Ram’ on its lips but carries a knife by their side. They should not have such an approach towards people,” the Congress president said.
Kharge said the Congress stood for social justice, secularism and equity. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra is being undertaken to save the Constitution and democracy, and fight the fascist forces, he said.
The Congress president said he was proud that a leader of his party was moving from door-to-door to spread the message of peace.
Earlier, Kharge unveiled the bus on which Gandhi and other Congress leaders will travel from Manipur to Mumbai as part of the yatra.
‘Manipur to Mumbai’ ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ will cover a distance of 6,713 km, straddling 100 Lok Sabha constituencies and 337 assembly segments and covering 110 districts. It will conclude in Mumbai on March 20 after 67 days.
Besides Manipur, the yatra will cover four northeastern states – Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam.
Rahul Gandhi is likely to halt a night at Sekmai in Manipur.