Rousing reception for Rahul Gandhi as Bharat Jodo Yatra enters Delhi

Thousands join journey for just & united India


December 24, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Rousing reception for Rahul Gandhi as Bharat Jodo Yatra enters Delhi

Bharat Jodo Yatra attracts thousands of supporters in Delhi on Saturday (Photo: Mohsina Malik)

Thousands lined up the roads in New Delhi on Saturday as Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi entered national capital. The aim of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is to unite people and bring about a just development of India, say Congress leaders.

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Thousands of people were already gathered at Badarpur border in south Delhi just as first rays of sun had barely begun to penetrate the dense smog of toxic fumes that have enveloped the national capital for over two weeks.

Waving both the tricolors, the National Flag and the Congress tricolor, the crowd was cheering as Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, entered Delhi early on Saturday morning. Led by President of Delhi Congress Anil Chaudhary, the supporters welcomed Gandhi and others participating in the protest march that began exactly 108 days earlier in Kanyakumari.

Upon entering Delhi, in a speech at Badarpur border, Gandhi renewed his attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing them of spreading fear and violence in the country saying, “People have witnessed real India during the Bharat Jodo Yatra,” Gandhi told the gathering.

‘‘A few days back, during a speech, I had told the members of RSS and BJP, that I have come here to open a shop of love amid your market of hatred and that is the real purpose of the Yatra. It is to showcase real Hindustan where people help each other, unlike RSS and BJP’s version of a hate-filled one and warned that RSS and BJP was destroying a united nation,” Gandhi added.

Thousands of supporters walked with Gandhi as he led the Bharat Jodo Yatra from the Badarpur border to its first halting point at Ashram, with the entire stretch decked up in tricolors, balloons, and banners of the leader.

The yatra had attracted not just those living in Delhi or along the route. Many had come from places faraway as well. Nitesh Sharma, a 55-year-old worker, is one such person who came from Kanpur, almost 500 km away. “I am here in the Padyatra because I liked the idea of Bharat Jodo Yatra as it is connecting people across the country and we are knowing each other closely and understanding the problems of a common man,” Sharma tells Media India Group, while trying to keep pace with Gandhi whose fast walks have become anecdotal notes since the yatra began over three months ago.

“The current government has destroyed the nation in the name of religion and has filled the lives of minorities with miseries only by consistent attacks. I live in a secular country and there is no space for hatred and division,” says Sharma.

All along the march, which has already covered over two-thirds of its 3000 km route, Gandhi has raised issues like rising inflation, unemployment and attacks on minorities. “There has not been any development in the country since BJP has come in power. Inflation, unemployment and attacks on minority has raised. The Yatra is highlighting these issues and uniting people with love,” says a party worker. As the march continued to progress through Delhi, supporters and participants came from far and wide to join the yatra.

“We want our children’s future secure and safe. When there are many issues in the country how I am expecting that there will be a change and development when we are lacking behind because of the current government,” Fatima Jan, a 45-year-old housewife from Aligarh, tells Media India Group.

“On the ground, nothing has changed and fake promises are made by them,” Jan adds.

The women in the protest march also highlight issues like crime against women and safety and security of women. “Crimes against women have increased. What has government done to it and what laws are introduced and why are the culprits roaming freely and not punished under the laws?’’ asks Neeta Bhardwaj, a resident of Delhi.

“I am hopeful that if Congress comes to power, it may change the current situation,” Bhardwaj adds.

It was not just the supporters of the Congress who turned up in New Delhi to cheer Gandhi and his band. It also managed to pull in some workers of the ruling BJP. Chamber Singh Tanwar is one such worker, who came from Aligarh. “The purpose of my coming here is to let the BJP understand that party members can also have their opinions, differences and nothing can be enforced. I am against the things that the BJP is doing and I want to convey that we cannot be slaves anymore,” Tanwar tells Media India Group.

On Saturday, the yatra will head to the Red Fort in Delhi, where Gandhi is expected to address the gathering, before proceeding to the Rajghat and other memorials to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. After that, the yatra will take a nine-day year-end break and will resume on January 3, 2023 from Delhi.

The Yatra that started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, 2022 has traversed nine states so far and is set to culminate in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of January, 2023.