‘This is a new, aggressive Congress connecting with the people; won’t be cowed down’
The oldest political party in India is conducting the world's longest 'padayatra' with 30 per cent of the yatris being women and the average age of the yatris being 38 years, Jairam Ramesh pointed out
Hitting back at the BJP and its social media ecosystem for criticising Rahul Gandhi’s attire, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said that the party would neither be cowed down nor get diverted from its objective by “cheap, childish and stupid tactics of a party which is rattled and worried by the yatra”.
"Their objective is to derail us. We will not be cowed down. We will not be diverted," he said while speaking at a press conference after the first stage of the day's yatra got over.
"This is a new and aggressive Congress which is connecting with the people," he added.
Rahul Gandhi had started the day’s yatra at around 7.30 am on Sunday from Parassala in Kerala. After a short break, the second stage of the yatra commenced around 4 pm from Neyyattinkara.
"We are doing 'jodo' because someone is doing 'todo'. The RSS-BJP project is to divide India, while the Congress project is to unite it,” the AICC general secretary in-charge of communications said, adding that the yatra was not being conducted by keeping in mind any Assembly elections or the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress MP KC Venugopal too said that comments about Gandhi's attire indicate that the yatra has become a problem for those parties who want to destroy the Congress.
"But our intention is very clear. Our intention is to stop the spread of fear and anger and to instead spread love and affection," he said.
Venugopal also said that Rahul Gandhi would be interacting with the fishermen who are protesting against the Vizhinjam port project as well as leaders of the anti-K-Rail movement and other such agitations in the state.
Gandhi would also be going out of the way of the yatra route to pay tribute to social reformers Ayyankali, Chattampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru, Venugopal said.
He said that even the CPI(M) in Kerala was taking the same anti-Congress stand as that of the BJP and was indirectly supporting the saffron party.
"They are both on the same page on that. They are both treating Congress as the enemy. The national-level CPI(M) is not doing that," Venugopal said.
Ramesh also shared some data regarding the Congress and the yatra in the press conference, saying that the Prime Minister was fond of quoting terms like 'largest', 'longest', etc.
He said that "Congress, which is the oldest political party in India and second oldest in the world is conducting the world's longest 'padayatra' with 30 per cent of the yatris being women and the average age of the yatris being 38 years".
(With agencies inputs)