Hailing the Bharat Jodo Yatra’s role for its success in the Karnataka assembly polls, the Congress on Saturday said in the clash of narratives between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the yatra, the cross-country foot march is a “clear winner”.
The Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ entered Karnataka on September 30 at Gundlupet in Chamarajanagara district. It passed through Chamarajanagara, Mysuru, Mandya, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Bellary and Raichur, traversing a distance of over 500 km in about 22 days in the state.
The march had seen massive crowds during its stay in the state with people from all walks of life joining it. It was hailed as a success but many had raised questions over its electoral impact.
Many in the party feel it has played a critical role in boosting the Congress’ electoral fortunes in the state and its impact is there for everyone to see.
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Talking about the yatra’s role in Cong’s performance in the southern state, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh told PTI, “It was the Sanjeevini for the party. It energised the organisation and instilled a deep sense of unity and solidarity among leaders and workers.”
“The Bharat Jodo Yatra started a particular narrative in Indian politics which the people of India were waiting for,” Congress’ media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said when asked about the yatra factor.
“In Karnataka, the Bharat Jodo Yatra spent about 22 days. If you remember the visuals of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi being drenched in the rain and continuing his speech in October, I think these visuals have stayed in people’s mind,” he told PTI.
The message of the yatra has resonated across the country but more so in Karnataka, Khera said while also crediting the poll campaigns run by former party chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
“The guidance that we all got from our seasoned leader Mr Kharge (Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge), the result is there for everyone to see,” he added.
Referring to the Kanyakumari to Kashmir campaign headed by Rahul Gandhi who walked some 3,000 km over three months, Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed said, “The Bharat Jodo Yatra made a lot of difference.
Asked if the yatra had passed the test of electoral impact, Khera said the foot march had nothing to do with elections.
He, however, said, “Elections are a clash of narratives, in the clash of narratives between Narendra Modi versus Bharat Jodo Yatra, I think the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a clear winner.”
The yatra was all about local issues and issues of everyday life of every man and woman, the Congress leader said.
“Mr Narendra Modi, however, tried in the Karnataka campaign to make the entire election about himself and tried to bring a narrative hate-filled narrative, which divides, that was rejected decisively by the people of Karnataka,” he said.
Khera said the “big win” means a lot for the country. “It means that the country is desperate to get united, the country is desperate to reject those who are trying to divide the country,” he said.