Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
For once the temperatures soared and the Yatris had to keep themselves hydrated even more than usual as they walked approximately 9 kilometres from Halaharvi to their evening break and corner meeting at Kallidevakunta. However, they remained undaunted. “We know we have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir”, said Jyoti Rautela, “The weather doesn’t matter.”
Earlier Congress MP Rahul Gandhi met with diverse groups in an afternoon interaction. Present at the meeting were representatives of the Vizag steel plant, LIC, Gram Sarpanches, and also a group that had come to discuss the sub-categorisation of reservations for Scheduled Castes in AP.
Gandhi stated his position that the Public sector in India has a valuable role to play beyond just efficiency or the bottom line (which were also relevant). PSUs have a strong social objective and help to build critical resources. He said INC opposed sale of the Vizag plant.
Gandhi also assured representatives that the party rejected privatisation of LIC. Reacting to Gram Sarpanches say that the State government had bypassed Panchayati Raj institutions, he said that as some parties were trying to destroy democratic institutions, “the Congress was trying to build systems and institutions to empower people.”
Speaking at a corner meeting in the evening at the end of the Yatra, Gandhi referred to the commitments made by the Congress post the bifurcation of the then state of Andhra Pradesh. “We made certain commitments to the people of Andhra Pradesh”, he said, “We stand by them.”
Post the meeting, Gandhi visited the Raghavendra Swamy Mutt for a darshan, followed by a meeting with Sri Subudhendra Tirtha Ji at Mantralayam.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.
Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)
End of Day Travel Facts
1. Current District Name – Kurnool
2. The struggle for liberation against the Britishers in Kurnool goes back to the 1800s. Leaders like Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, Muthukukr Gowdappa and Nawab Rasool Khan, the last Nawab of Kurnool fought against the British East India Company
3. The district is known for the Kurnool Circular issued by the Kurnool District Congress Committee during the Quit India Movement,1942. Since leadership was preemptively arrested by the British. the Kurnool circular served as a guiding pathway for the people during the movement.
4. Kurnool city, the district headquarters, is referred to as the Gateway of Rayalaseema.
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