Ahead of launching the Congress party’s ‘Bharat
Jodo Yatra’ in the country’s southern tip of Kanniyakumari, senior party
leader Wayanad Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attended
a prayer meeting at former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial in
Sriperumbudur, about 40 km from here.
He also paid floral tributes to a portrait of his late father, who was felled
by a suicide bomber at the same spot on May 21, 1991 during an election
Earlier, in a tweet, Rahul said “I lost my father to the politics of hate and
division. I will not lose my beloved country to it too.”
“Love will conquer hate. Hope will defeat fear. Together, we will overcome”,
Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by TNCC President K.S.Alagiri, MPs, MLAs,
CWC members, office-bearers and functionaries at the prayer meeting.
Senior Congress leaders including Karnataka state party chief DK Shivakumar
were present at the prayer meeting.
After the prayer meeting, Rahul Gandhi left for Thiruvananthapuram by air from
where he will drive down to Kanniyakumari to launch the 3,500 km long 150-day
long Kanniyakumari to Srinagar yatra.
Before launching the yatra, Rahul Gandhi will also visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial,
Saint poet Thiruvalluvar Statue and Kamaraj Memorial after which Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister and DMK President MK Stalin will hand over a National Flag to Rahul Gandhi
and flag off the Yatra.
Following the event at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress
leaders will address a public meeting.
The Congress party has billed the Yatra as an unprecedented mass contact programme
ever undertaken in Independent India.
Congress said the aim of the yatra was to oppose the “divisive politics” of the BJP and
the RSS, and to draw the people’s attention to the “fascist BJP regime”,
Apart from senior leaders, Chief Ministers from the Congress-ruled States, CWC members,
MPs, MLAs, office-bearers will attend the yatra launch.
According to senior leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh simultaneously with
the main Yatra, there will be separate small Bharat Jodo Yatras’ in states such as Assam,
Tripura, Bihar, Odisha, Sikkim, West Bengal and Nagaland.
The tagline of the yatra is ‘Mile Kadam, Jude Watan’.