As part of his people connect movement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is going to take up Bharat Jodo Yatra 2.0 under the new nomenclature of Bharat Nyay Yatra.
The journey this time will be from east to west even as the first march was from south to north, i.e. from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
Gandhi will undertake the Nyay Yatra from Manipur to Mumbai from January 14, that will coincide with the election campaign season as the party hopes to galvanise the state units on the route for the Lok Sabha polls. The yatra, to culminate in Mumbai on March 20, will pass through 14 states and cover 85 districts along a length of 6,200km.
The morphing of the Bharat Jodo Yatra into the Bharat Nyay Yatra marks the shift of the context to elections, with the party looking to promise the electorate a vision to remedy the issues it raised during the first walkathon from Kanyakumari to Srinagar.
“During the BJY, Rahul Gandhi raised the issues of economic disparities, social polarisation and dictatorship. The Nyay Yatra will promise economic, social and political justice to the people,” AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh said. The choice of Manipur for the launch, Venugopal said, is to “heal the wounds” of the state riven by the prolonged ethnic conflict.
Given the paucity of time ahead of the polls, the yatra will be by bus, with foot marches around designated towns, cities and villages, and will follow the now-known format of public meetings, street corner gatherings and group interactions. The yatra will cover more distance in less time, with BJY having traversed around 4,000 km from September 7, 2022 to January 30, 2023.
While Venugopal claimed that the yatra should not be linked to politics, it is evident that after the loss in the three northern states in the assembly polls, Congress is looking to rouse workers and state units, like BJY visibly did along its route. Congress credited its victories in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana to BJY.
The yatra will cover Bihar and Jharkhand, where Congress is a junior ally to the local parties, and West Bengal, where it is seeing a demand to join hands with Trinamool Congress.
It will also pass through MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where the party was defeated by BJP in the assembly polls but notched a high enough vote share to harbour hopes for the LS polls. Maharashtra is another state where Congress, in alliance with Shiv Sena and NCP, is expecting a better show after the near-wipeout in 2014 and 2019. The yatra will also cover four northeastern states, including Assam, and Gujarat.
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