After hoisting the flag at the campsite of Bharat Yatris on Thursday morning, Rahul Gandhi made a first stop at the Higher Secondary school in Suchindram Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari, just about 15 kilometres from the starting point.
Many people joined the yatra apart from the official yatris. People greeted Rahul Gandhi on the way and exchanged notes with him. Kanyakumari is a stronghold of the Congress with sitting MPs and three MLAs, who have put on a massive show for the yatra.
Kanyakumari MP Vijay Vasanth said, ‘The yatra will change political and social discourse of the country, as people will get to know more about the party.’
During the yatra, various communities will interact with Rahul Gandhi and he will exchange his thoughts with them. One of the unofficial yatris, Baba Shilke said, ‘whoever forms the government is not the issue but the divisive politics should end which is dangerous for the society and the country.’ However, he questioned the presence of Yogendra Yadav and said people like him should not have been involved.
A young, Ginni Galla, who works for the Congress minority department in Mumbai said, ‘This is a wonderful experience.’ She has been drafted to coordinate the yatra in Tamil Nadu.
In the morning, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi started walking for the Congress’ 3,570 km-long ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ here. He was accompanied by P. Chidambaram and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
The yatra will traverse 12 states and two union territories.
However, all the party’s state organisations will take a separate padyatras in their respective states for one month while all the blocks took out padyatras on Wednesday.
The party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will have Gandhi and his companions meeting select groups of people from 7 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. everyday while it will be a mass connect programme in the evening. All the yatris, including Gandhi, will rest in specialised containers at the end of the day.
Ahead of the yatra, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said that this will be a turning point in Indian politics and will mark a new beginning.