The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will deploy every tool in its arsenal to stall the Bharat Jodo Yatra, since it too senses a change in the country’s mood, Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K. C. Venugopal said.
He further said that the response the yatra has generated clearly shows that party’s vote tally will increase in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has maintained so far, that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is not aimed at electoral gains and that it is largely a movement.
To a question on whether the yatra will bring electoral benefits for the party, Mr. Venugopal said, “Certainly. The entire cadre of the Congress party, from bottom to top is electrified. And not only the party workers, common people too are coming forward to join the yatra.”
“More importantly, the false image that the BJP and the RSS had created about Rahul Gandhi stands demolished and people can see the real Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
The impact, he said, will also be seen in party’s tally in Lok Sabha elections. “Our tally will improve in all the States. Look at Andhra Pradesh for example, we didn’t have a robust organisation there and yet the yatra was a huge success. This signals a definitive change in the mood of the nation,” Mr. Venugopal averred.
Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir
There is still uncertainty on whether the yatra will be allowed to traverse through Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Venugopal and other senior leaders are meeting J&K Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha to discuss the security situation and protocols for the yatra on December 26. “We do not want to cause any disturbance in Kashmir. Ours is a political demonstration and many parties have been holding such demonstrations in J&K, so we hope that we too are allowed,” he added.
On Centre’s COVID protocol letter
Mr. Venugopal asserted that Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s letter to Rahul Gandhi asking the Bharat Jodo Yatra to follow the COVID-19 protocol is a reaction to the “enthusiastic response” it has generated in the Hindi-belt. “The BJP wasn’t expecting the yatra to draw crowds in the Hindi belt. And the response we have got in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and now Haryana has rattled them,” Mr. Venugopal claimed.
Mr. Mandaviya, he added should have first written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been travelling across the country attending various public functions. He also reminded the BJP, that the Union government so far has not come up with a national guideline or protocol. “Instead of that, they are first writing to us, which clearly is baffling,” he added.
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