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MP Cong sub-yatras to cover 6,440 km, then merge to welcome Rahul at Burhanpur


By Praveen Dwivedi
Bhopal, Oct 2 (IANS) The Congress’ “Bharat Jodo Yatra” led by the party’s former president Rahul Gandhi is likely to enter Madhya Pradesh from Burhanpur district, located on the north bank of the Tapti river around 350 km from the state capital Bhopal, tentatively on November 26. As per the route plan, the yatra will be heading towards Agar-Malwa and in the next 16 days, it will cover as many as six districts in the Agar-Malwa region.

When the yatra will enter Madhya Pradesh, 17 yatras which are named the ‘Supportive Yatras’ from different parts of the state while covering 230 assembly seats, will merge with the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ at Burhanpur. These 17 yatras will commence on October 30 and will proceed on different routes to reach Burhanpur to join Rahul’s yatra.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has prepared an elaborate plan for this from the state to the districts and block level. The committee has appointed two senior party leaders and former cabinet ministers, P. C Sharma and Jitu Patwari, as the state in-charges of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Besides the state level, the party has also appointed convenors of the yatra at the district, block, booth and ward/sector levels.

MPCC general secretary Rajiv Singh told IANS that the “Bharat Jodo Yatra will enter Madhya Pradesh tentatively on November 26. As of now it is a tentative date, because it was fixed as per the earlier schedule, but due to some changes in the yatra, like one day in a week has been fixed for rest and some other purposes and therefore, it is possible that the date may be extended.”

Singh informed that a team of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will conduct a survey of the route in Madhya Pradesh and then possibly an exact date will be finalised. Asked if the MPCC has asked the state government and the police for security during the yatra Singh said, “All mandatory procedures will be followed after the national survey team of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will visit and fix a date after conducting a survey of the entire route in Madhya Pradesh.”

After the yatra passes through Madhya Pradesh in November-December, exactly one year will be left for the assembly elections in the state and therefore, the state leadership has made elaborate plans. As there are 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, the MP Congress’ 17 supportive yatras will be covering all the assembly seats. More importantly, at least one representative will be participating from each village.

These supportive yatras, symbolically named as ‘Rivers’, will start from October 30 in each block and district. In fact, in some parts of the state, party leaders have already started organising yatras in a bid to mobilise people. These 17 supportive yatras will cover a total 6,440 km in 35 days. Yatras from each district and block will proceed keeping in mind that all 17 yatras reach Burhanpur at the same time to merge with the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

The yatras will proceed from one to another district, and the leading yatra will carry the ‘Constitution of India’, which will be handed over to the person leading the yatra in another district. They will also carry soil from each village on the route and also water from each small and big river on the way.

This process will continue till the end, with slogans being raised like “Jodo Jodo – Bharat Jodo, “Nafrat Chhodo – Bharat Jodo”, “Jabse BJP Aayee Hai – Kamartod Mehngayee Hai” and many more. Besides all these, the yatris will also be interacting with people along the route they will be passing through and singing Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Bhajan – “Raghupati Raghav Rajaram”.

One such yatra will start from the Vindhya region in Singrauli district, moving through Sidhi followed by Rewa, Satna, Panna and Chhatarpur. This particular yatra will cover 421 km. Kavita Pandey, a senior party leader in the women’s wing of the MP Congress, who has been appointed district (Rewa) in-charge for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, said, “We have already started yatras for the last two weeks. As we have been directed by our leader Kamal Nath to reach out to people and mobilise them for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, every day we take out yatras on different routes.”

State Congress spokesperson Anand Jat explained why these supportive yatras are named ‘Rivers’. “See, each of these yatras will proceed passing several rivers in different parts of Madhya Pradesh and will merge with the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, like all small and big rivers at one point merge into a sea. That’s why, these supportive yatras are symbolically rivers which will merge into the sea, which is the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.”

Amid the crisis in the Rajasthan Congress and electoral defeats in state after state in the last few years, the party has high hopes from Madhya Pradesh to come back to power. Under the leadership of former state chief minister Kamal Nath, the MP Congress has managed to revive the party despite losing its government within 15 months in 2020. Its performance in the municipal elections could be an indication of this.

Therefore, the MP Congress will try to utilise this mega ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ to send a message to the people of the state that it is the only party which can take on the BJP.

Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh, who is the convenor of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, belongs to Madhya Pradesh. Digvijaya had done a 193-day ‘Narmada Yatra’ ahead of the assembly elections in 2018, and the party had won a majority of the seats. Now, it would be interesting to see if the leadership of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh makes it a fruitful yatra for the 2023 assembly elections.


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