Hindu-Muslim being done to divert attention from real issues, says Rahul

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NEW DELHI: Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said Hindu-Muslim is being done to divert attention from the real issues. The Congress MP’s mass contact campaign, Bharat Jodo Yatra, entered the national capital on Saturday. The party held a mega public rally at the Red Fort.

Speaking from Red Fort, Rahul Gandhi said, “It is not Narendra Modi’s government. It is Ambani and Adani government. Hindu-Muslim is being done to divert attention from the real issues. Today, degree holding youths are selling ‘pakoras’.” Referring to the Bhagwad Gita and Upanishads, he said nowhere in the Hindu texts is it written to oppress the poor.

“In the Bharat Jodo Yatra, dogs also came but no one harmed them. Cow, buffaloes, pigs, all animals came. This Yatra is like our India, I have not seen any hatred or violence among people while walking 2,800 km, I have not seen violence or hatred anywhere in the country. But when I turn on the TV, there is hatred all the time”, said the Wayanad MP.

Speaking from Red Fort, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP fears the Bharat Jodo Yatra and wants to stop the march by giving the excuse of Covid-19.

“The BJP is in fear due to the Bharat Jodo Yatra and is taking the excuse of Covid. There is no Covid anywhere. Nothing happened to anyone. PM Modi himself does not wear a mask. All this is being done to create fear and break this Yatra”, Kharge charged.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan also joined Bharat Jodo Yatra on Saturday. Speaking from the Red Fort, Kamal Haasan said, “Many people ask me why I am here. I am here as an Indian. My father was a Congressman. I had various ideologies and started my own political party. But when it comes to the country, all political party lines have to blur. I blurred that line and came here. I stood in front of the mirror and said to myself — this is the time when the country needs me the most. Then a voice came from inside me — ‘Kamal… do not help break India, help unite”.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the national capital on Saturday morning. Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi joined the yatra for the first time since it started on September 7. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra also joined. This will be the last day of the yatra in this phase as it goes into a nine-day break till next year.

The foot march entered Delhi from Haryana after starting from NHPC Metro station, Faridabad, around 6 am. The Yatra also visited Rajghat and paid tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Several MPs of different parties accompanied Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra today.

Asked about the MPs joining Bharat Jodo, Jairam Ramesh told ANI that all the party leaders were invited to join the Yatra. “We have invited all the party leaders to join Bharat Jodo Yatra. Whoever wants to come, Nitin Gadkari wants to come, he is also welcome, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wants to come, he is also welcome. (Former Vice) President Venkaiah Naidu, and (former President) Ram Nath Kovind are also welcome”, he said.

Jairam Ramesh also divulged that the party is mulling starting another mass contacting campaign, ‘Haath se Haath Jodo’ from January 26. “After this, the party will start a ‘Haath se Haath Jodo’ campaign from January 26 to March 26, which will convey the message of the Bharat Jodo Yatra to every booth and every block and the success the yatra earned in the 108 days will also be spread to every booth and block during it,” the Congress leader told ANI.

The Centre has issued cautionary notes to the Bharat Jodo Yatra participants amid the growing concerns over rising Covid  cases in several countries including neighbouring China. On Friday, the Delhi police issued a travel advisory, informing residents about route changes and traffic diversions to cater to Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Delhi leg.

So far, the yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, has covered parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra and Haryana. It is the longest march on foot by any Indian politician in the history of India, the Congress has claimed. With this yatra, Rahul Gandhi aims to mobilise the party cadre and unite the general public against the BJP’s “divisive politics in the country”. (ANI)

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