Congress General Secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a ”revolutionary moment” for national politics as well as the party and not an event, and converting it into electoral success will take a while.
Addressing a press conference on the last day of the foot march’s Maharashtra leg, Ramesh claimed people were looking for an alternative and wanted to get rid of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
”The Congress is the only ideology that presents an alternative to the BJP and the RSS. The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a revolutionary moment for national politics and the Congress and not an event,” he said.
It will take a while to convert the yatra’s success into the electoral success, he added.
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Ramesh said the yatra will take a break on November 21 and 22 in Maharashtra and will proceed to Madhya Pradesh on November 23.
The party had earlier said the yatra would proceed to MP on Sunday and take a night halt in Burhanpur.
As per the Congress’s earlier schedule, the yatra’s rest day was Monday. Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Gujarat on Monday for the election campaign there. Ramesh thanked the Maharashtra Congress leadership for organising the logistics extremely well and said the state party unit will organise six rallies in all the six revenue divisions of the state to capitalise on the success of the yatra so that the state unit is galvanised for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
Maharashtra was a bastion of the Congress and the yatra’s success will ensure the party ”hand” (its symbol) is seen everywhere in the state, he said.
Ramesh said women, youth and farmers were prominent participants of the yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress.
”In his interaction with Dalits and OBC organisations, Rahul Gandhi said a caste-based census was urgently needed,” he said.
The yatra has presented an inspiring message and a ”new Congress” is emerging, he claimed.
”The voices of the party’s critics are subdued now,” he said, adding that future changes in the organisation will be based on the experiences of the yatra.
Ramesh said economic disparity, polarisation and political dictatorship were the issues highlighted during the yatra.
Maharashtra coordinator for the yatra Balasaheb Thorat said the yatra covered more than 380 km in the state.
”The interactions Rahul Gandhi had with various people while walking were memorable. The team which walked behind to ensure the route was cleaned up after the yatra passed by should be commended. The cooperation from police was also praiseworthy,” he said.