Yatra To Raise Issues Of Political, Economic Justice — Rahul - Eastern Mirror
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Yatra to raise issues of political, economic justice — Rahul

By EM Bureau Updated: Jan 16, 2024 11:24 pm
Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi being accorded a traditional welcome during the yatra launch at Viswema on Tuesday morning. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who resumed the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Viswema in Nagaland on Tuesday morning, said that the purpose of the yatra is to raise the issues of political and economic justice.

To bring about justice, the first step is to listen to the people and understand the nature of the injustice that they are experiencing, and the idea behind the Yatra is to do just that, he said while addressing a press conference at Chiephobozou in Kohima district.

Gandhi also asserted that the Congress party is committed to resolving the Naga political issue.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment to the Naga people nine years ago but is yet to deliver on it.

While a Framework Agreement was signed in 2015, “we are not even clear about what the Prime Minister envisioned in terms of a solution,” he claimed, terming it as a “superficial document that says we are going to work for peace, and joint sovereignty.”

He said that various Naga leaders have brought the issue up to him, and went on to state that even “the Naga organisations simply don’t understand what the Prime Minister was trying to do and what the way forward is.”

“There is a problem that needs resolution, a problem that requires conversation, listening to each other and working in implementing a solution and that is lacking as far as the Prime Minister is concerned,” Gandhi added.

The prime minister promises things without thinking them through, he added.

Gandhi, who also addressed the public at various locations in the state capital, maintained that last year’s yatra was an impactful and successful one. He said that it brought the people of India together and transformed the political narrative, providing an alternative to the ‘divisive politics’ of the BJP.

This year, Manipur was chosen as the starting point for the east to west yatra which will culminate in Maharashtra.

He said that it was a “sad and shameful affair” that the prime minister “doesn’t care to visit” Manipur despite the violence and loss of life the state has seen since May last year

The yatra will stick to what it was designed for and bring up issues of justice, he maintained.

Continuing his dig at Modi, the Lok Sabha MP alleged that the BJP and RSS have made the consecration event of Ram temple scheduled on January 22, into a “completely political Narendra Modi function.’

While the Congress is open to all religions and practices, the party has chosen to refrain from the ‘political function,’ he maintained.

He added that the Congress has made it clear that any party from the INDIA bloc is welcome to join the event.

Commenting on the status of the alliance, Gandhi said that, “The issue of seat-sharing is being taken up,” while adding that the ongoing discussions are going ‘quite well.’

The Congress leader expressed confidence that the INDIA bloc is placed very well in taking on the BJP in 2024.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi began the third leg of the yatra, arriving at Viswema from Khuzama where he halted for the night on Monday.

At Viswema, he was accorded a traditional welcome by the villagers and the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC). He then proceeded to the state capital Kohima where he paid homage at the historic Kohima War Cemetery.

He also briefly addressed the public at Phulbari and High School Junction in Kohima, emphasising that the northeast region is a very important and central part of India. “It has been a lovely experience, thank you for all the affection,” he told the gathering.

Continuing towards Tseminyu and Wokha districts, the Congress leader briefly paused at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, a sport facility named after his grandmother, and also paid homage at the grave of Late Capt. N Kengurüse in Nerhema village.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror during the kick-off ceremony at Viswema, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Naga leaders who engaged with Gandhi the previous night at Khuzama brought forth their concern.

Highlighting non-implementation of the Framework Agreement between the Government of India (GoI) and the NSCM (IM), the Rajya Sabha MP emphasised the collective desire for peace and prosperity in Nagaland.

On the sidelines of the presser at Chiephobozou, NPCC president S Supongmeren Jamir said that the yatra holds significant importance for the Nagas, who have unfortunately been hesitant to confront their problems.

He stated that the movement led by Gandhi presents a timely and appropriate opportunity for the Naga people to address their grievances. Now that the people are actively participating in the yatra to advocate for social, economic, and political justice, their struggles should not be allowed to persist, Jamir asserted.

Stating that the youth and faith-based organisations must step forward in the fight for justice within their land, Jamir clarified that the yatra is not just a Congress initiative but a people’s movement.

It is crucial for the Nagas to step forward and assert their rights, he said while cautioning that without active citizen participation, the society would remain in the same stagnant situation, preventing any growth.

When asked about the Naga response to the yatra, the state Congress president noted that that the younger generation is actively participating for two main reasons—  to engage with leadership and to pursue their aspirations.

Encouraged by the positive turnout from the youth, he expressed optimism for a favourable outcome from the yatra.

Jamir also highlighted the enduring interest of the Gandhi family, spanning from Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and now Rahul Gandhi, in Naga affairs. He noted their engagement with Naga political issues and other societal challenges, emphasising that they are culturally aligned with the Naga people.

On January 17, the yatra will resume from Chukitong to VK Town in Zunheboto district and proceed towards Tuli, Mokokchung, concluding the Nagaland leg of the yatra.

Also read: Naga Hoho urges Rahul to raise Naga issue in Parliament

By EM Bureau Updated: Jan 16, 2024 11:24:03 pm
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