The Congress will launch the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir on 7 September in which many party workers and senior leader Rahul Gandhi will participate, according to news agency PTI.
In an official statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi on this day, 80 years ago. He said that five years later, this movement led to India’s freedom.
“Today, the Congress announces the launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra from September 7 this year. Congress workers and senior leaders including Rahul Gandhi will participate in this yatra,” he added.
He informed that this 3,500-km long padayatra will cover 12 states and two Union Territories and will be completed in about 150 days.
Ramesh said, “The Congress appeals to all to be a part of this yatra for providing an alternative to the politics of fear, bigotry and prejudice and to the economies of livelihood destruction.”
Taking to Twitter, he launched a scathing attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and asked about its role in the Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
“It was on the sidelines during the mass movement. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee did not participate in it, while Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad, Prasad, Pant and many others were jailed,” he stated.
The party had earlier informed that a committee led by former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh had been formed to plan for the ambitious yatra that aims to spread the message of unity across India and mark the Congress party’s first pan-Indian march in Independent India.
The central planning group for the coordination of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress party’s biggest non-electoral campaign, have Digvijaya Singh, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Ravneet Singh Bittu, KJ George, Jothi Mani, Pradyut Bordoloi, Jitu Patwari, and Saleem Ahmed as its members.
States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab are likely to be covered by the march, according to two leaders involved in the planning.
The planning for the yatra started during the Udaipur chintan shivir (brainstorming workshop) and many Congress leaders were keen that the party announces the yatra will be led by Gandhi in the Udaipur Sankalp.