NEW DELHI: As the Congress party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra officially came to a conclusion in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar on Monday, the absence of several top opposition leaders at the closing event raised eyebrows on the opposition unity.
Top leaders of political parties including the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) did not turn up at final event of Rahul Gandhi-led the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on Monday.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, NCP national president Sharad Pawar, and Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav — who is maintaining distance from the Yatra since its UP leg — were among the top political leaders who were not on board the flight to Srinagar.
Interestingly, DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, who flagged off the ‘Yatra’ in Kanyakumari months back abstained from participating at the closing of the event at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar. The party representatives, however, joined the Yatra’s final event.
Notwithstanding that Congress is a slice of the ruling Grand Alliance in Bihar along with JD(U) and RJD, yet, both parties’ leaders (Tejaswi Yadav and Nitish Kumar) did not reached Srinagar. The JD(U) last week announced its ‘inability’ to join in the culmination event of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Citing another party event on the same day, party national president Rajeev Ranjan alias Lalan Singh wrote to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge saying that he will not be present at the closing ceremony as he has to attend the launch of the party’s election campaign at Wokha in Nagaland the same day.
However, parties which did turn up at the event include Tamil Nadu ruling DMK, Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference, People’s Democratic Party headed by Mehbooba Mufti, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), IUML, Kerala Congress, CPI, RSP, Shibu Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
On Saturday, Mehbooba Mufti and her daughter Iltija Mufti joined Bharat Jodo Yatra at Awantipora in Pulwama.
Congress’ Yatra got immense support from the Uddhav Thackeray camp Shiv Sena, with party MP Priyanka Chaturvedi summing up the foot march in 3Ds, displayed by Rahul — Discipline, Determination and Dedication.
Taking to Twitter, Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “As the #BharatJodaYatra concludes one must acknowledge and commend the 3Ds displayed by Shri Rahul Gandhi- discipline, determination and dedication to the worthy cause of uniting the nation as envisaged in our constitution. Long live democracy! @INCIndia.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, accompanied by his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on Sunday unfurled the national flag at the clock tower of Lal Chowk in Srinagar yesterday.
Since September 7, Rahul has criss-crossed a dozen state and two Union Territories, covering 4,080 km. (ANI)