By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri (Midday)
(With inputs from Gaurav Pandhi)
13 September 2022, 12PM: The Indian National Congress commenced Day 6 of its Bharat Jodo Yatra from Alummoodu Market, Kaniyapuram, Kerala. The march was preceded by the daily flag hoisting ceremony at the camp grounds of the Al Saj convention centre. The yatris, as per tradition, sang Vande Mataram and the National Anthem.
The yatra got off to a strong start, with the presence of a large number of local residents and others who had traveled to see the yatris and Congress leaders.
While it was raining for portions of the walk, the enthusiasm of people for this yatra continues to amaze and inspire. The rainbow that appeared after a short spell of rain, added many more colors to the Yatra by becoming a part of it.
We met on the road, 27 year old Parvati Sahu from Chhattisgarh. Parvati decided just last Sunday that she should join the #BharatJodoYatra. Now she is traveling on her own, carrying her own luggage. When we offered to help, she said, ”Ladki Hoon Lad Sakti Hoon” The video of her interaction is all over the social media now.
Congress leader and Member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi, walked with a number of people today, from children to senior citizens. At several points during the journey, Gandhi surprised onlookers by doing the opposite of what usually happens – he was the one taking the selfies!
In an interesting incident, a number of people chanted slogans in support of Rahul Gandhi, but he requested them to stop, and instead raise slogans about Bharat and the Bharat Jodo yatra.
The marchers arrived for their midday break at the SS Pooja Convention centre at Mamom, Attingal. Congress leaders including Gandhi will have a number of interactions with different groups this afternoon.
Incidentally, the previous day (12 September) the yatra had completed an initial milestone of 100 kilometres, since it started on the 8th of September.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Srinagar in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.