Media notices my T-shirt, but ignores poor farmers, labourers in torn clothes: Rahul

09:31 AM Jan 05, 2023 | PTI |

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his being in a T-shirt during the Bharat Jodo Yatra was not the real issue, while slamming media for “not noticing” people in torn clothes walking along with him.


Addressing a ‘nukkad sabha’ (street corner meeting) at Baraut on Baghpat-Shamli border during the march, Gandhi also said the purpose of the yatra is to remove hatred and violence being spread in the country and to draw people’s attention towards price rise and unemployment.

Amid talk raging about his wearing a T-shirt in the winter during the yatra, he said the media is highlighting his attire but taking “no notice of the poor farmers and labourers walking along with him in torn clothes”.

“My being in T-shirt is not a real question, the real question is why are the farmers, poor labourers of the country and their children are in torn clothes, T-shirts and without sweaters,” he said.

The former Congress chief said that despite covering a distance of more than 3,000 km on foot in 110 days, he is neither feeling tired nor shivering in cold in a T-shirt.


“The aim of the yatra is to remove hatred and violence which is being spread in the country. BJP policy is to create fear among youths, farmers, and labourers through note ban, wrong GST. We do the politics of removing fear as we know that fear and hatred will not benefit the country,” Gandhi said. Pointing out two other goals of the yatra, he said through the yatra he wants to draw people’s attention towards inflation and unemployment.

“During the UPA government, PM Narendra Modi used to say price of LPG cylinder has risen to Rs 400 but now it has jumped to Rs 1,100. In whose pocket is this difference going…it is going in the pockets of Narendra Modi’s three-four special friends,” he alleged.

“Unemployment is the biggest issue. I met youths who have studied to become engineers and when I ask they say they are working as labourers or selling ‘aloo pakodas’,” he said. Gandhi said that earlier the youth had the option of serving in the armed forces but that too has been snatched through the Agnipath scheme.

“Their dream was to serve the nation, they could have worked for 15 years and also got pension. But PM Narendra Modi said work for four years then you will be kicked out, (this is) new Hindustan,” he said.

Taking potshots at the media, he said, “I call them ‘mitra’ (friend) but they are not performing the duty of a friend as they do not raise the real issues out of fear of their bosses.”

“Since the media is not highlighting the issues of people, we thought of raising matters relating to demonetisation, wrong GST, price rise, unemployment in the Parliament, but there the mike was switched off. So, we thought lets walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, listen to the people,” the Congress leader said.

“The media tells you about cheetahs, (they say) see four cheetahs have come from Africa, see them roaming in the jungle. They also ask whether the cheetahs will kill the deer or not. The cheetahs of Africa will come to India and forget about killing deer,” he said among shouts of ‘godi media’ from the audience.

Citing the example of a horse used in a wedding to highlight the compulsion of the media persons, he said that whenever they try to run fast, they are reined in like that of a horse.

“I think that they want to speak…they come to me and say they want to speak but their bosses do not let them. I say don’t be afraid, but they say ‘naukri bhi to karni hai’ (we have to do job),” Gandhi remarked. After a brief address at the meeting, he left for Delhi.

The UP leg of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will resume Thursday morning from Shamli from where it will enter Haryana.

AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was not seen in the yatra on Wednesday. She accompanied her mother Sonia Gandhi to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi this morning.

Octogenarian sharpshooter Prakashi Tomar popularly known as “shooter Dadi”, a native of Baghpat, joined the yatra on invitation of the Congress party.

While Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have extended moral support to the yatra but kept away from it, some local leaders and activists, including Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) district unit chief Rampal Dhama, joined the yatra in UP.

Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and Champat Rai, secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, have also appreciated the yatra.

Speaking to the media on the yatra in Faizabad on Tuesday, Rai said, “I express my gratitude to a young man (Rahul Gandhi) who is walking in the country. I appreciate this step.”

He added that “there is nothing wrong in this, I am a worker of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the RSS never condemns Bharat Jodo Yatra”.

The UP leg of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will resume Thursday morning from Shamli from where it will enter Haryana.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, will end with the hoisting of the national flag by Gandhi in Srinagar on January 30.

Over the 108 days, the march has covered 49 districts in nine states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi.


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