As Rahul Gandhi marched through Delhi amid calls by the Health Minister to follow Covid protocols, thousands joined the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Several party leaders marched with Mr Gandhi, including Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja, and Randeep Surjewala.
Rahul was later joined by Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi is joining the yatra for the second time. She took part in the Congress’ mega foot march in Karnataka in October.
Delhi Congress Chief Anil Chaudhary welcomed Mr Gandhi, other party leaders, and yatris at the Badarpur Border this morning amid “Rahul Zindabad” chants.
Rahul Gandhi told his party workers and leaders that the purpose of his yatra is to open a ‘mohabbat ki dukaan’ (shop of love) amid a ‘nafrat ka bazaar’ (market of hatred).
In every state, lakhs have joined the yatra. I told RSS and BJP people that we’re here to open a love shop in your hate bazaar, Mr Gandhi said.
During the Yatra, Mr Gandhi wants to show off “real Hindustan” where people help each other. We (Congress) spread love, they (BJP, RSS) spread hatred.
Rahul Gandhi had earlier asked Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to make sure Covid “protocols” are followed during Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Mr Gandhi cited PM Narendra Modi’s recent Gujarat poll campaign and the BJP’s “Jan Aakrosh Yatra” in Rajasthan as examples. “The BJP is taking out yatras in different states, but the Health Minister only writes to us,” he said.
According to the Congress, the BJP wants to stop Mr Gandhi’s yatra because it’s scared of the love Bharat Jodo Yatra is getting.
Today’s yatra ends at Red Fort with a three-hour break at Ashram. Congress’ mega march will take a nine-day break and resume on January 3 from Delhi after completing 100 days.
Delhi Police have released a traffic advisory asking commuters to avoid certain routes and take public transportation as much as possible. From Badarpur to Red Fort, traffic is expected to be heavy.
There will be a graded and dynamic diversion to ensure smooth traffic management and to facilitate commuters while keeping pedestrians safe.
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