Bharat Jodo Yatra a double-booster for Congress: Jairam Ramesh

When asked if the yatra will have any implications on the elections in the state and also across the country, Ramesh said the polls are a different issue.

Published: 07th October 2022 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2022 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Asserting that the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has been embarked upon by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, is a “fight against tyrannical and divisive forces”, senior Congress leader and MP Jairam Ramesh said that the unity march will prove to be a double-booster for the grand old party.

In an exclusive interaction with TNIE on the sidelines of the yatra, which left Pandavapura on Thursday, the former Union minister, who is also the general secretary in-charge of communications for the Congress, said, “We are not conducting the Bharat Jodo Yatra for electoral gains, but to unite India against hate and to strengthen harmony.”

Explaining how the Karnataka leg of the yatra is different from that of the Kerala leg in terms of demography, Ramesh said that unlike the neighbouring state, where villages are closer to each other, the scenario here is different, due to a larger area. “We were skeptical about the response, but people have been giving us overwhelming support. Undeterred by the downpour, Rahul Gandhi gave an electrifying speech to the people in Mysuru, which was well-received. With people from all walks of life joining this march, it has been proved that no force can stop the yatra from uniting the country, while speaking up against unemployment and price rise,” he said.

When asked if the yatra will have any implications on the elections in the state and also across the country, Ramesh said the polls are a different issue. “We are not walking for electoral gains, but for harmony. The party’s unity is important, along with discipline and strategy,” he said, adding that the Congress does not have a culture of announcing chief ministerial candidates before an election. “We should win -- that is the larger challenge for the party and its leaders. In Karnataka, we have 35-40 per cent vote share, so there won’t be much of a problem,” he said.

Ramesh also revealed that preparations are under way for the Telangana leg of the yatra. “In Telangana, we have 23 per cent vote share and we will be walking for 13 days in that state, followed by four days in Andra Pradesh. We are hopeful of the Congress coming to power in Telangana that has a strong organisational base. Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM is the B-team of the BJP, and considering the high Muslim vote share, he is working to split votes. But the people are realising this now,” Ramesh stated.
Meanwhile, he also expressed happiness over the response that the march was garnering in Mandya, even as it will next move towards Tumakuru on Saturday, both of which being considered JDS strongholds.


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