The Congress on Monday launched the logo, website and slogan for the 3,500 km Bharat Jodo Yatra foot march led by Rahul Gandhi that will be kick-started on September 7 with the tagline of Mile kadam Jude vatan.
Senior Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Jairam Ramesh unveiled the tagline of the yatra and also launched its website at the party headquarters here.
Speaking to the media, Singh, who heads the organising committee of the yatra, said, “The purpose of this yatra is Ek tera kadam, ek mera kadam, judd jaye pura vatan (One step by you, one step by me, come together to unite the nation).”
Pointing out the need for the Yatra, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said that hatred is in the atmosphere of the country. “The way the system is working against the constitution, the way in which constitutional institutions are being compromised,” Singh said. “The way in which unemployment is rising, inflation is rising, the rupee is depreciating, loans of industrialists are being waived off,” he added.
Singh said, “During the Udaipur convention, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi wanted that Bharat Jodo Yatra should be taken out across the country so that people of all classes can join and participate. She had said then nafrat chodo, bharat jodo.”
“Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra will commence in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari at 5 pm on September 7 which will pass through 12 states and two Union Territories, covering over 3,500 km in around 150 days,” Congress general secretary Ramesh said.
Ramesh said that the other states will also hold Bharat Jodo Yatra and related events under the programme, which will be live-streamed on the website.
Ramesh, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, said that the yatra stands against political division, economic inequality, social polarisation, abuse of the Constitution of India and the growing centralisation of power that the Union government holds over states.
Responding to queries on why the newly launched campaign’s documents do not possess the Congress logo, the duo said the yatra is a “non-partisan” initiative even though it is led by the party.
Singh also said that the country has never “witnessed” neither a ‘padayatra’ nor any mass contact programme of this scale before.
“There will be 100 ‘padayatris’ who will walk from start to finish. They will be Bharat Yatris. Around 100 Atithi Yatri will keep joining from the states through which this yatra is not passing and around 100 yatris will be involved from the states through which the journey will pass, these will be Pradesh Yatris. At a time, there will be 300 padayatris,” Singh said.
When questioned whether Rahul Gandhi remain in the entire Yatra, Singh responded by saying, “Rahul Gandhi will be a Bharat Yatri.”
Earlier on Monday, Rahul Gandhi held talks with 150 civil society groups in the national capital. The yatra will retain its political flavour but will not be a Congress affair, as demanded by a large section of civil society organisations in a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Monday.
When asked about several civil society groups that were also associated with the campaign against the Congress-led UPA government in 2012, Ramesh said that yesterday in the civil society group there were several organisations, including Congress supporters and critics as well.
“And it is also true that there were some organisations that questioned our government. But it is a matter of happiness that they have understood that there is no alternative to the Congress,” Ramesh said. “They also understood that the campaign that they ran 10-15 years ago against the Congress government after they were misled. But today they understand that the Constitution and democracy are in danger and we have to strengthen the Congress and support the party,” he added.