NEW DELHI: Nothing can prevent the Bharat Jodo Yatra from moving forward, the Congress asserted asking the BJP to “stop playing politics in the garb of the Covid pandemic” and trying to “stall” the march, which entered the national capital Saturday morning.
Congress leaders alleged the BJP has made and failed in its every attempt to defame Rahul Gandhi and derail the yatra somehow as people from across the country including Delhi are overwhelmingly extending their support.
“Covid and health are serious issues and the BJP should not make them a tool of their politics,” AICC media and publicity in-charge Pawan Khera told reporters at the Ashram Chowk. “If you have the courage to stop the Yatra, do so. We will follow all rules and protocols, if any with regard to Covid.”
“We know our responsibilities and the BJP should govern instead of giving us advice or directions. They are not declaring norms but their concern is Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra which is getting the support of people,” Khera said.
Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS/BJP of spreading fear in the country and said they convert this fear into hatred but the Congress will not allow that to happen.
Addressing a gathering as the Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Delhi, he said, “They spread hatred, we spread love and embrace all Indians”.
“There is Hindustan and ‘Mohabbat’ (love) in this Bharat Jodo yatra, which does not see any caste, creed, religion, rich or poor and all embrace each other,” he told the gathering.
“RSS/BJP’s all policies are to spread fear. They want that everyone should have fear in them and they convert this ‘dar’ into ‘nafrat’ (fear into hatred). If there is no ‘dar’, it will not be converted into ‘nafrat’. We say ‘daro mat’. We spread Mohabbat. We embrace all Indians,” he said.
Delhi Congress in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil said the BJP is scared of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and not Covid.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government should follow rules and norms rather than playing politics.
“Using corona politically is sending the wrong message to the people of the country,” he alleged.
Khera added, “They are in government and they should not need the opposition to remind them before acting. If they are so concerned, why don’t they stop their yatra in Rajasthan. Instead of creating fear in the minds of everyone, they should announce steps on Covid with the advice of experts.”
“The prime minister visits Parliament wearing a mask but attends weddings in the evening without a mask. They should focus on governance not politics,” he said.
Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh said Rahul Gandhi will visit the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, which is on the route of the yatra. The march will pass through the Mathura road, India gate and ITO before halting at the Red Fort.
He said Gandhi will also address a public meeting outside the Red Fort, where the yatra’s first phase will end. It will resume on January 3 for its second phase.
Ramesh said besides the Mahatma Gandhi memorial, Rahul Gandhi will also visit the memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
The Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Delhi in the morning from the Badarpur border and was accorded a rousing welcome by Delhi Congress workers.
Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also joined the Yatra and walked with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for a few minutes before it halted for a break at Ashram chowk.
The Yatra has covered around 3,000 kms after passing through nine states and entered Delhi on the 108th day on Saturday. It will culminate in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of January.