Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati thank Rahul Gandhi for invite to join Bharat Jodo Yatra in UP

However, both leaders did not clear the air about their participation in the Yatra.

Published: 02nd January 2023 07:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2023 07:16 PM   |  A+A-

Bharat Jodo Yatra

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with party leaders and supporters during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The Congress party’s efforts of bringing non-BJP opposition parties on one platform in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the electoral trial of 2024 through its ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ do not seem to bear fruits as both the regional parties - Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - on Monday extended their gratitude on being invited to join UP leg of Yatra wishing it a success without clarifying their intention of joining it.

Significantly, after the repeated denial by the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati of having received any invitation to join the Yatra in its UP leg beginning on Tuesday, Congress party sent the formal invitation letter on behalf of party MP Rahul Gandhi to both leaders.

Congress leadership had extended invites to former UP Deputy CM Dr Dinesh Sharma, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, RLD chief Jayant Chaudhury, BSP chief Mayawati, BSP general secretary SC Mishra, SP MLA Shivpal Yadav, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief OP Rajbhar and CPI general secretary Atul Anjan to join the UP leg of its Yatra covering 110 km across three western UP district Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Shamli before entering Sonepat in Haryana via Kairana on January 5.

Meanwhile, writing the reply addressed to Rahul Gandhi, on Monday, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav thanked him for the invitation and said that he wished all the success to the Yatra.

Akhilesh continued by writing that India, beyond the geographical dimensions, was an emotion inclusive of love, non-violence, compassion, coordination and harmony.

"These are the positive elements which unite India. I hope that this Yatra will achieve its goal of preserving this inclusivity of our heritage," wrote the SP chief.

Later in the afternoon, Akhilesh Yadav shared the letter by tweeting it from his own and the party’s Twitter handles.

Similarly, BSP chief Mayawati also took to Twitter to say that she was thankful for the letter inviting her to join the Yatra while extending good wishes for its success.

However, both leaders did not clear the air about their participation in the Yatra.

Earlier, RLD had made it clear that Jayant Chaudhury would not join the yatra as he would not be in India during those dates. On the other, Akhilesh had laughed off the purported invite as mere gossip and Mayawati too had denied having received it. Akhilesh had even likened the Congress with the BJP saying both were the two sides of the same coin.

Akhilesh’s stand led to a missive by Congress’s former chief Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, when he said that the SP lacked a national framework and it had a positioning only in UP.

However, Rahul Gandhi’s statement was contradicted by the SP chief on Sunday saying his party had a national outlook and that it had been making strong political interventions in national interests.

On the other, the Congress party allowed the members of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) to join the yatra which will cover the three western UP districts Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Shamli, which are considered to be BKU strongholds.

BKU national spokesman Rakesh Singh Tikait, however, ruled out his participation saying that he represents a non-political organisation and no BKU member till the level of a district chief would join the Congress Yatra while passing through UP.

Tikait accepted that he was receiving invites from Congress leadership to join the Yatra but ruled out his participation saying that initially, it was important to know Congress’s policy for farmers. "We will meet Congress leaders to know their policies for farmers in Haryana on January 9," said Tikait.

Tikait claimed that BKU was spearheading a movement against government policies for farmers in different states and Congress too was ruling some states like Chhattisgarh, where the farmers’ movement against the Baghel government was going on.

However, he added that any farmer, who had the BKU membership and wanted to join the Yatra, was free to do so.


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