Ahead of the arrival of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan, a poster war broke out between the supporters of Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot after the Chief Minister’s followers tried to replace Pilot’s posters in the Jhalawar district.
The incident took place on Saturday, days after the party’s general secretary KC Venugopal held a meeting with the two leaders of the state and held hands with Gehlot and Pilot during a press conference in an attempt to show unity in Jaipur on November 29.
Venugopal had claimed that the party is united in the state. On December 3, Pilot had released a video asking people to join the yatra when it enters the state.
In the latest row that erupted not too long after a display of unity, the supporters of both factions have indulged in the poster war. Pilot’s supporters were seen protesting against the posters used by the PCC supporters above the already installed posters carrying Pilot’s picture of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The supporters of both factions had started putting up posters days ahead of the arrival of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan.
The Pilot supporters had paid for hoardings at prime places in the district from where the Yatra is scheduled to cross.
A new twist in the matter came when the contractor’s team reached Jhalawar on Saturday to install banners and hoardings of Rahul’s visit on behalf of the PCC supporters.
They started putting up banners of Rahul Yatra issued by PCC supporters at prime locations booked by Pilot workers without prior permission. Supporters of the Pilot group reached the spot and protested saying that the site was booked by paying an expensive rate.
The police also reached the spot, and pacified the matter after mutual understanding and had to withdraw the holdings and banners sent by PCC supporters in view of the protest by the supporters of the Pilot group.
This whole incident took place in the presence of the police in view of the possibility of the workers clashing with each other. Jhalawar city Kotwali in-charge Chandra Jyoti Sharma was also present on occasion.
The incident is being seen as an internal conflict between the supporters of the two factions.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra being led by Rahul Gandhi will enter Rajasthan on Sunday evening.
The Yatra, which entered Madhya Pradesh on November 23, will cover seven districts in the state in 12 days.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra has so far covered parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, and is scheduled to enter Rajasthan on December 5.
According to Congress sources, the Yatra will conclude on January 26, 2023 in Kashmir covering a distance of about 3500 km.
“Congress was going to end this Yatra by hoisting the tricolour in Srinagar on February 20, but now under the new strategy, Rahul Gandhi will conclude his Yatra by hoisting the tricolour in Srinagar on Republic Day,” said sources.
According to the party sources, after January 26, a plenary session of the Congress is being planned before February 7, in which the name of Congress Party President Mallikarjun Kharge will be approved, after which the new Congress Working Committee will be formed.
Soon after the committee formation, major changes that were pending and postponed for a long time will also be made in the party organisation.
Notably, Bharat Jodo Yatra, which began on September 7 from Kanyakumari, will cover a further distance of 2,355 km in its 3,570-km march.
It will end in Kashmir next year. It is the longest march on foot by any Indian politician in the history of India, the Congress claimed earlier in a statement.
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.