Imphal, Jan 13:
All is set for Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ (BJNY) at Khongjom in Thoubal district. The long march will cover 6,713 km from Manipur in the east to Mumbai.
Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy is expected to arrive here in Imphal to join Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that will be flagged off in Manipur on January 14. Other Congress leaders from across the country are also arriving in the state before the Yatra begins tomorrow.
The yatra, which will be kicked off by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge from Manipur’s Thoubal, also comes just eight days ahead of the consecration of Ram temple, an event coined by many in the Opposition as an ‘RSS-BJP event aimed at reaping electoral gains’. The top leaders of the Congress have ‘respectfully declined’ to attend the same in Ayodhya.
Pitched as a follow-up to the south-to-north Bharat Jodo Yatra, the east-to-west BJNY will pass through Rahul Gandhi’s previous Lok Sabha seat Amethi, Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi and the Scindia bastion of Guna before its conclusion in Mumbai on March 20. The 66-day yatra majorly on bus will not be touching Ayodhya.
Sending a clear signal by choosing ethnic violence-hit Manipur as the launch pad, the BJNY seeks to raise issues related to economic, social, and political justice while covering 110 districts of 15 states 101 Lok Sabha constituencies, and 337 Assembly seats.
Congress is projecting the yatra as ‘political but non-electoral’ but the leaders expect that it would help the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Rahul is expected to communicate to the voters about Congress’ poll plank and roll out the party’s guarantees on the front of social, economic, and political justice.
Party General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh has said the idea of both the yatras had its inspiration from the first line of the Preamble of the Constitution. He said the Bharat Jodo Yatra concentrated on the aspects of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity while the latest one will focus on ‘nyay’ or justice on social, economic, and political fronts.
Initially named ‘Bharat Nyay Yatra’ and then rechristened as BJNY to capitalise on the recall value of Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul will cover Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
It will cover cities and towns like Kohima, Itanagar, Cooch Behar, Guwahati, Siliguri, Purnia, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Agra, Gwalior, Ujjain, Guna and Malegaon.
The yatra will pass through 3 states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh – where the party recently lost elections. The yatra will be covering Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra for the second time though Bharat Jodo Yatra has passed through it.
The Uttar Pradesh leg of the yatra will be the longest as Rahul will cover 1,074 km in the state in 11 days covering 20 districts. In West Bengal, the yatra will cover 523 km and seven districts in five days while in Assam, it is 833 km and 17 districts in eight days.
The yatra will travel for five days in Gujarat covering 445 km and seven districts while in Maharashtra, it will be 480 km in five days covering six districts while in Manipur, Rahul will cover 107 km in one day covering four districts before entering Nagaland.