“Bharat Jodo Yatra” was a successful event but that failed to bring fate to Congress. In the recent elections, Congress had to face miserable defeats in many states. Rahul Gandhi will lead a two-month “Bharat Nyay Yatra” from January in a reappearance of his previous south-to-north parade last year. He wants to speak for the people and carry out the promise of “social, economic, and political justice” for them.
Beginning on January 14 and ending on March 20, this yatra will be from Manipur to Maharashtra, just months before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. During Bharat Jodo Yatra Rahul Gandhi walked from one place to another but this time, he and his congress leaders and workers would travel by buses and cars. Buses are chosen for Bharat Nyay Yatra, with the aim of giving maximum access to people. There will be short stretches of walking sporadically during the march. The reason for choosing a bus yatra is to avail more access to people on the way. But it will also have short stretches of walking every now and then. His main focus is to reach the maximum number of people by going into the interiors. He is doing his best to revive his party and family relevance but the BJP shrewdly nullifies everything high-jacking mainstream media and social media.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge will flag off the yatra in Imphal, the capital of strife-torn Manipur. It will conclude in Mumbai on 20 March, covering 85 districts in 14 states and spanning 6,200 km. From Manipur, the yatra will enter Nagaland and go on to cover Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The Congress is part of the ruling alliance in two of these 14 states, Bihar and Jharkhand. West Bengal is governed by the Trinamool Congress, a constituent of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc. Rest of the states are mostly ruled by BJP and its allies and Odisha by the Biju Janata Dal, with the BJP being the principal Opposition. These 14 states account for 355 Lok Sabha seats.
The 4,000-km-long Bharat Jodo Yatra — from 7 September, 2022 to 30 January, 2023 — saw Gandhi walk from Kanyakumari to Srinagar, covering 12 states and 2 Union territories from the country’s southern coast to the Valley. While the drive of Gandhi’s previous yatra was on communal harmony, the Congress has nipped the theme of the upcoming Bharat Nyay Yatra to focus more on “bread and butter” issues with an eye on the upcoming elections. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, the Congress had promised a minimum income guarantee scheme called NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana).
The Congress party is expecting the Bharat Nyay Yatra to be historic. At the Congress Working Committee meeting last week, Kharge had proposed that Gandhi take out another yatra. Incidentally, several party leaders had credited the party’s victory in the Karnataka assembly elections earlier this year to Gandhi’s first mass outreach yatra. The party, however, was finally defeated by the BJP just months later in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The first two were covered in the first yatra.
Even if Rahul Gandhi walks through each and every street of India, people will not take him seriously because he is already portrayed as an incapable leader by the BJP. Same is the case with INDIA alliance. Just like people have shown the way out in recent assembly elections people will throw them out during the upcoming parliament election. Rahul Gandhi is a burden for the Congress and INDI alliance.
For Congress this yatra is another hop. This will be good for giving strength and courage to Congress and all INDIA Front parties. How many votes this march grabs for congress is interesting to see ahead.