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66-day long Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra begins from Manipur

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Shillong, January 14: Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi led 10-years governance as “anyay kaal” (period of injustice), the Congress on Sunday launched the 66-day long Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur’s Thoubal district.

The yatra will culminate in Mumbai on March 20 after covering 6,713 km through 15 states.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge flagged off the Yatra after paying tributes in the Thoubal district’s Khongjom War Memorial, which was built in memory of those killed in the last Anglo-Manipur War in 1891.

Besides Manipur (107 km in one day), the yatra, which is a hybrid Yatra — including bus and padyatra — will cover four other northeastern states — Nagaland (257 km in two days), Arunachal Pradesh (55 km in one day), Meghalaya (five km in one day) and Assam (833 km in eight days).

Before starting the Yatra, addressing a huge gathering, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that a large number of people including women and children, died during over eight month long ethnic riot but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no time for Manipur.

“We understand the pain, sadness and loss of huge lives and we promise you to bring back the harmony, peace and affection in Manipur,” Rahul Gandhi said.

He said that during his earlier visit to Manipur in June last year, he has never witnessed such a horrifying situation in the state since he joined politics in 2004.

“We got huge response in our earlier Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra (September 2022 to 30 January 2023) and interacted with lakhs of people,” Rahul Gandhi said.

He said that during the last Yatra, Congress listened to people from all walks of life and is again keen to listen to peoples’ ‘Man-Ki-Baat’.

He said that the BJP-RSS have been spreading their hatred through their political campaign.

Rahul said that the country has been passing through a great political injustice, monopolisation in the economy destroying the small and medium industries.

“Backward people, dalits and tribals have no role in the governance,” he said.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in his speech criticising Prime Minister Modi, said that in the name of vote bank politics he is now ‘chanting ram nam’ and visiting everywhere but staying away from violence ravaged Manipur.

“The BJP before the 2019 election promised to give two crore jobs every year… where are the jobs… injustice has been done with all sections of people. Through Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, we promised to return justice to every one — dalit, tribals, women, youths,” Kharge said.

He said that during the regime of former Congress Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi six northeastern states — Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh — got their statehood and all kinds of development were undertaken.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah; former Rajasthan Chief Minister and former deputy chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot; Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Pramod Tiwari, Gaurav Gogoi, Salman Khurshid, Digvijaya Singh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Karti Chidambaram among other leaders participated in the Yatra.

Lok Sabha MP Danish Ali, who was suspended by Mayawati-led The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), announced that he would join Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, saying he would be failing in his duty as a politician if he did not join “biggest drive for unity and justice”.

The 66-day long yatra will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses but also on foot.

It will cover 110 districts in 100 parliamentary constituencies in 15 states, before culminating in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.

Rahul Gandhi during the yatra will address small public gatherings and interact with people, civil society members and various organisations.

Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and a host of other party leaders earlier on Sunday reached Imphal from New Delhi by a chartered flight and went straight to Thoubal district and paid homage at the Khongjom War Memorial.

The Manipur Congress leaders accorded a rousing reception to the Congress leaders at the Imphal airport.

The Congress leaders then went to a nearby private ground, named ‘Nyay Maidan’ from where the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra was flagged off.

The Yatra will go to Nagaland on Monday and cover 257 km in five districts in two days. (IANS)

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