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Cong Pins Hope On Rahul’s Padyatra, Says Will Take Break Only For Poll Campaign

As Rahul Gandhi embarks on his ambitious 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra by foot from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, the Congress touted it as a campaign to connect the party with people. AICC media in charge Jairam Ramesh described it as “a mass mobilisation campaign”. Unveiling theme song of the yatra of “Ek tera kadam, ek mera kadam, mil jaye, jud jaye, apna watan” Jairam admitted that the Congress had never attempted such a yatra though there have been smaller yatras by Congress leaders. He referred to Digvijaya Singh’s 3,000 km Narmada yatra as a “spiritual yatra, not a political yatra”. Incidentally, it was Digivijay who was incharge of putting together the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Jairam pointed out that Rahul’s yatra was the first political yatra in Indian political history.”Chandra Shekharji did a Bharat Jodo Yatra in 1983, but it was an individual yatra, this is the first time a political party has launched such a massive Bharat Yatra on foot. There will be 118 people accompanying Rahul completing this entire length”. Though the yatra is to last for 150 days, Rahul will be available for campaign in poll-bound states.  27% of the 118 volunteers are women, age-wise those selected to walk the entire 3,570 km stretch across 12 states are mostly in their late 30s. Rahul and AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera are in their early 50s.