Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi to Begin Bharat Nyay Yatra from Manipur to Mumbai

In recent months, Rahul Gandhi faced pressure from his fellow party members to go on another yatra.

Congressman Rahul Gandhi will embark on a 6,200km Bharat Nyay Yatra, which will run from the northeastern tip of India to its western shore between January and March, the party announced on Wednesday. This is a repeat of the Bharat Jodo foot march that took place from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, which inspired workers but had conflicting results in terms of votes.

The yatra, which will span 14 states and 85 districts, mostly by bus and on foot, will start on January 14 in violence-torn Manipur and end in Mumbai on March 20. It would conclude just weeks before general elections are held there the following summer, according to Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal.

The route will pass through the following states: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Meghalaya, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh. In 2022–2023, nine of these states were left out of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

On March 20, it would conclude in Mumbai, according to Venugopal. Mallikarjun Kharge, the head of the party, will begin the yatra in Imphal.

In recent months, Gandhi faced pressure from his fellow party members to go on another yatra. The former head of the party was encouraged by almost all attendees of the Congress Working Committee’s most recent meeting on December 21 to go on another cross-country march in the style of the 4,500-kilometer Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started in Kanyakumari in September 2022 and finished in Srinagar on January 30. This time, Gandhi would not walk the entire distance but rather take a bus for a significant portion of the trip. Gandhi had assured them that he would comply with any requests made by the party.

The yatra takes place a few weeks after the Congress was soundly defeated in three crucial heartland states, failing to unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh and losing its hold on power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. With only a few months till the general elections, the party’s dismal performance in north India, which accounts for at least 225 Lok Sabha seats, is concerning even if it won Telangana with a good showing.

It was rejected by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). “Prime Minister Modi has brought joy to the Indian people, while Congress, while advocating for the eradication of poverty, has actually made things worse during its rule. These individuals engage in divisive politics and lack the ability to unite the country.” stated Anurag Thakur, the union minister of information and broadcasting.

Gandhi’s reputation among the general public was revived during the preceding Bharat Jodo Yatra, when he encountered a wide range of common people, social organizations, activists, farmers, and women. In many states where the organization was in decline, it also assisted in revitalizing the party cadre.

However, the election results were uneven; in Gujarat, the Congress suffered its worst defeat in decades, while in Himachal Pradesh, it emerged victorious in December 2022. It was completely destroyed in northern India in the 2023 elections, but it did win the southern states of Telangana and Karnataka.

The Bharat Nyay Yatra, according to Congress officials, was planned ahead of the 2024 elections to help ground workers. The yatra is especially significant because the Congress’ past election platforms, which featured welfare initiatives, Hindutva overtures, a statewide caste census, and the brand of leadership, failed to win seats in north India, which will be the primary focus of the yatra. The BJP governs eight of the 14 states that will be covered.

“The Bharat Nyaya Yatra will conclude on March 20.” “This yatra will inspire youth, women, and all marginalized people,” Venugopal remarked. According to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, the yatra will focus on economic, social, and political justice.

Ramesh also stated that the Congress will organize a massive rally in Nagpur on December 28 to commemorate the party’s founding anniversary. The protest, dubbed “Hain Tayyar Hum” (We Are Ready), will sound the starting gun for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

“The Indian National Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, headed by @RahulGandhi, from Kanyakumari on September 7th, 2022 to Srinagar on January 31st, 2023, was grounded in our preamble’s pillars of liberty, equality, and fraternity…The Bharat Nyay Yatra is based on the Preamble’s first pillar of justice: social, economic, and political justice. The persistent attacks on the Constitution will not be tolerated!” Ramesh later tweeted about it.

The Congress had originally planned a yatra from Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh to Porbandar in Gujarat. However, ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3 has resulted in 187 deaths and the displacement of over 50,000 people, prompting the Congress to modify its plans. The Congress and other Opposition parties raised the Manipur matter strongly in Parliament, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah responded to the debate.

Venugopal praised Manipur as an essential component of the North-East, saying the party wants to “try to heal the state’s wounds.”

“This is not a political pilgrimage. We intend to address regular people’s concerns. It would have no effect on election preparations. “We’ll have a separate mechanism [for voting],” he remarked.