Rahul Gandhi to kick off Bharat Nyay Yatra from January 14

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is poised to initiate a Bharat Nyay Yatra spanning 6,200km from the northeastern edge to the western coastline of India between January and March, as officially declared by the party on Wednesday. This endeavor draws parallels with the earlier Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo foot march, which galvanized workers but yielded diverse electoral outcomes.

As outlined by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, the yatra is scheduled to kick off on January 14 in Manipur, a region marked by turmoil, and conclude on March 20 in Mumbai. Encompassing 14 states and 85 districts, the journey will predominantly involve travel by bus and on foot, concluding just weeks before the imminent general elections.

The route traverses Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Notably, nine of these states were excluded from the Bharat Jodo Yatra in 2022-23.

Venugopal emphasized, \”It will culminate in Mumbai on March 20,\” with the yatra inaugurated by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge in Imphal.

Amid pressure from party colleagues, Rahul Gandhi committed to this yatra during the recent Congress Working Committee meeting on December 21. Participants urged him to undertake another cross-country march akin to the 4,500km-long Bharat Jodo Yatra, where Gandhi will employ a bus for substantial portions instead of covering the entire distance on foot.

The yatra follows recent setbacks for the Congress party in key heartland states, where it lost governments in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and failed to displace the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh. Despite securing Telangana, the party\’s lackluster performance in northern India, where a minimum of 225 Lok Sabha seats is at stake, raises concerns.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the concept, with Union Minister Anurag Thakur highlighting Prime Minister Modi\’s contributions and critiquing the Congress\’s poverty eradication campaign during its tenure.

The prior Bharat Jodo Yatra played a role in revitalizing Gandhi’s public image but yielded mixed electoral results. The Congress perceives the Bharat Nyay Yatra, scheduled before the 2024 elections, as pivotal for invigorating grassroots workers and addressing past electoral deficiencies in northern India.

The yatra will center on economic, social, and political justice, according to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh. A mega rally named ‘Hain Tayyar Hum” (we are ready) is scheduled in Nagpur on December 28 to initiate preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Highlighting Manipur\’s significance, Venugopal underscored the non-political essence of the yatra, aiming to address the concerns of the common people without disrupting election preparations. The Congress adjusted its initial yatra plan due to ethnic violence in Manipur, aiming to contribute to healing the state\’s wounds.

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