Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday interacted with fishermen at Vadackal beach in Kerala’s Alappuzha and discussed the challenges faced by them ahead of starting the 12th day of his party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The Wayanad MP held discussions about the rising fuel costs, reduced subsidies, dwindling fish stock, inadequate educational opportunities and environmental destruction among other issues.
“At 6 am, Rahul Gandhi interacted with fisherfolk at Vadackal beach in Alappuzha on their challenges–rising fuel costs, reduced subsidies, dwindling fish stock, lack of social welfare & pensions, inadequate educational opportunities, and environmental destruction,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh informed in a tweet.
The Yatra is in its Kerala leg and would traverse through the state for the next 12 days.
The 3,500-km march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir will be completed in 150 days and cover as many as 12 states. From Kerala, the Yatra will traverse through the state for the next 18 days, reaching Karnataka on September 30. It will be in Karnataka for 21 days before moving north. The Padyatra (march) will cover a distance of 25 km every day.
Meanwhile, the Yatra was mired in controversy after a video surfaced of local Congress leaders allegedly extorting donations from a vegetable vendor in Kollam, Kerala. A vegetable shopkeeper was allegedly threatened by Congress workers in Kollam for not contributing Rs 2,000 towards the collection of funds for the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Rahul Gandhi said that the spirit of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is to bring Indians together irrespective of religion, community and remind them that this is one country and it will be successful if we stand together and are respectful towards each other. The Congress suffered a debacle in the assembly polls held earlier this year and the Yatra is seen as an attempt to rally the party rank and file for the upcoming electoral battles.