The Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, resumed on Sunday from Agar Malwa district on the last day of its Madhya Pradesh leg and is set to enter Rajasthan in the evening. Noted folk singer Prahlad Tipanya, along with his group, and Congress MLA Jitu Patwari were seen walking with Gandhi in the morning hours after the yatra commenced its onward journey from Lala Khedi village at around 6 am on the 12th and last day in MP.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot Sunday dismissed apprehensions that infighting may affect the yatra in Rajasthan, underlining that the party’s state unit is “fully united” and focussed on ensuring that the yatra is even more successful than it has been in other states. The Pilot versus Gehlot episode had put a question mark on the success of the yatra in the state.
The last leg in Madhya Pradesh
Congress Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara Nakul Nath, former Union minister Arun Yadav and Congress MLA Priyavrat Singh also accompanied Gandhi on the 88th day of the yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7.
The foot march stopped for morning break in Soyatkalan tehsil of Agar Malwa district at around 10 am. It was set to resume in the afternoon from Pipleshwar Mahadev Mandir in Agar Malwa and reach Rajasthan in the evening. MP Congress members will hand over the national flag to their Rajasthan team members at Chanvli village in the desert state.
The march entered MP’s Burhanpur district from neighbouring Maharashtra on November 23. It was scheduled to cover 380 km in Madhya Pradesh before entering Rajasthan. In MP, the march has so far covered Burhanpur, Khandwa, Khargone, Indore and Ujjain districts. In Ujjain, Gandhi had visited the famous Lord Mahakal Temple, one of the 12 jyotirlings in the country. Before that, he had also offered prayers at the Omkareshwar Temple, another jyotirling in Khandwa district.
Pilot urges everyone in Rajasthan to join the yatra
Sachin Pilot Sunday said that Rajasthan Congress was focused on making the yatra historic in the state. He also tweeted a promotional video in which he urges everyone in Rajasthan to join Rahul Gandhi during the yatra.
Pilot’s video comes days after a rare show of unity in which he was seen with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot; the two have been caught in a political wrangle, directing jibes at each other.
पूरा राजस्थान राहुल जी की #BharatJodoYatra से जुड़ रहा है, क्या आप आ रहे हैं ? pic.twitter.com/4AG9PYIbqA
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) December 3, 2022
The video shows Pilot, a youth leader who was the key face of the Congress in Rajasthan in 2018, lacing up and several others, mostly young people and children, joining him with the national flag. He stops seeing a hoarding of Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, and asks, “Entire Rajasthan is participating in Rahul ji’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Are you coming?”
In an interview to PTI, Pilot also slammed the BJP for taking potshots at the Congress over his differences with Gehlot, saying that “sounds rich” coming from the BJP which has at least a dozen claimants for the post of chief minister.
“There is so much disunity in the BJP. They have not even been able to establish themselves as a proper opposition in the last four years in Rajasthan,” Pilot told PTI on Sunday.
A Gurjar community leader had warned of disrupting the yatra if Pilot was not made the Chief Minister. However, sources close to the former deputy chief minister had dissociated him from such comments.
The rift was worsened by Gehlot terming his former deputy a “traitor” in an interview to NDTV. Pilot had brushed aside the sharp attack as “completely false, unfounded, and unnecessary” allegations.
The Congress had said that certain words used by Gehlot were “unexpected” but differences between the two leaders will be resolved. Gandhi had termed both leaders as “assets” to the party.