By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was present once more this morning to walk alongside the yatris as they resumed their journey from K Malenahalli, Mandya. “Her presence,” said Yatri Jyoti Rautela a from Uttarakhand, “is an inspiration to all of us yatris as an example of sacrifice and dedication.”
Early in, it was a somewhat overcast and humid morning as the yatris got going but that did not dampen their spirits. There was a huge morning crowd that underlined how the #BharatJodoYatra is capturing the public imagination.
We met on the road a number of walkers who had come from all over Karnataka to joint the yatra. There was Suryanarayan from Bangalore who’d come hoping to meet Rahul Gandhi. Then, there was Mohan Kumar from Ramnagar district, a farmer who had come to express his concerns about agrarian policies and the socio- economic impact on farming communities.
The yatris arrived for their midday break at Anche Chittanahalli, Mandya. In the afternoon Gandhi will meet with with educationists on the subject of the National Education Policy.
As an aside it may be recalled that a day ago Gandhi had written a letter to Karnataka chief minister BS Bommai seeking assistance in treating a wounded elephant calf. Happily today the calf was being given treatment by forest department officials.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Karnataka. Over 21 days in the state, it will cover 511 kilometres.
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.
Source for ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)
Midday Travel Facts:
1. Current District Name -Mandya
2. Mandya city is one of the highest exporters of sugar and is known as the Sugarcane City.
3. Karnataka is the seventh largest state in India. It’s major rivers are Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna.
4. Earlier known as “The State of Mysore”, it was formed on 1 November 1956, after the State Re-organisation Act of 1956
5. Karnataka is the fastest-growing economy in India.