NEW DELHI: The Bharat Jodo Yatra will resume its second leg of the journey from Delhi on January 3 after covering nine states and a Union Territory in its first leg and will end it with the hoisting of the national flag by Rahul Gandhi in Srinagar on January 30.
Addressing a joint press conference here, AICC general secretary organisation K C Venugopal and AICC general secretary, communications Jairam Ramesh, said the Bharat Jodo Yatra has so far covered 3,122 km from Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari to the Red Fort in Delhi.
Over the 108 days, the Yatra has covered 49 districts in nine states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi.
”The Yatra will continue from Delhi on January 3, walking through Uttar Pradesh from the same day to January 5, Haryana from January 6 to 10, Punjab from January 11 to 20 and spending one day in Himachal Pradesh on January 19.
”The Yatra will enter Jammu and Kashmir on the evening of January 20 and will end with a flag hoisting on Srinagar on January 30,” Venugopal said.
He said the message of ”Bharat Jodo” is not limited only to the 12 states and two Union Territories through which the Yatra passes.
Several state-level Yatras have already been announced, and the upcoming ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo Abhiyan’ will take the message of Bharat Jodo to the doorstep of every Indian, he said.
Through all these activities, we will continue to take the message of the Bharat Jodo Yatra forward, he noted.
Ramesh said most importantly, Rahul Gandhi and the Bharat Yatris have been meeting, interacting, and conveying the message of Bharat Jodo to tens of thousands of people every single day.
”This Yatra is truly a Yatra for listening to the people of India. The Yatra listens to people through large numbers of meetings,” he said.
So far, there have been 87 sitting interactions of 30-40 min with various groups, usually 20-30 people in each group, the Congress leader said.
These groups raise various issues of the localities and states we are walking through and there have been over 200 planned walks with smaller groups of 4-5 people, which range from celebrities to intellectuals to activists to ex-servicemen to local children.
In addition, there have been uncounted people whom Rahul Gandhi has greeted and walked with during the Yatra.
”To convey the message of the Yatra, there have been 95 corner meetings, where Rahul Gandhi makes a short speech about the message of the Yatra at the end of the day. ”In addition, 10 large public meetings have been held, to which lakhs of people have attended. There have also been nine press conferences, one in each state, where media, especially local media, have freely asked questions,” Ramesh said.
The spirit of Bharat Jodo has also been celebrated with visits to several important religious and spiritual centres, interactions and performances by numerous artistes, and two Bharat Jodo concerts, he said.
”Through this range of mass contact efforts, the Yatra is a significant milestone in the Congress Party’s rich tradition of representing the voice of all Indians,” Ramesh said.
Asked if the concerns raised by them about the security of Gandhi and other Yatris have been addressed, Venugopal said the Delhi police has been holding a meeting to deal with such concerns on Monday.
He said Rahul Gandhi is not afraid of any security concerns as people in large numbers are joining him. The Yatra has been incident-free so far and will continue to be so.
Venugopal added that he has already held a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on security arrangements in their states and they have assured of their cooperation.