Arunachal: "BJP dividing country in name of caste, creed, religion," says Rahul Gandhi

The BJP "instigates people to fight among themselves in the name of religion and language", he said as the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered Arunachal Pradesh

Rahul Gandhi (in white on left) addresses a gathering at Doimukh, in Arunachal Pradesh on Day 7 of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on 20 January 2023 (photo courtesy
Rahul Gandhi (in white on left) addresses a gathering at Doimukh, in Arunachal Pradesh on Day 7 of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on 20 January 2023 (photo courtesy

NH Political Bureau

Soon after the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, 20 January, Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP for "dividing the country in the name of caste, creed and religion".

At a public gathering in Doimukh, he alleged that the BJP "instigates people to fight among themselves in the name of religion and language".

“The BJP works for the interest of a few businessmen, not for the interest of the people who are suffering a lot," Gandhi said from atop his vehicle. "The Congress, on the other hand, works to unite the people and for their betterment”

RSS-BJP is pitting one religion against the other
Rahul Gandhi on Day 7 of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

The Congress MP reiterated that the 6,713 km Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra—which began from Manipur on 14 January and will culminate in Mumbai on 20/21 March—is aimed at "raising the sufferings of the people of the northeast region" on this leg of its journey.

On the eve of the statehood days of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on 21 January, Gandhi reminded his audience: “We gave statehood to Arunachal Pradesh and our party is always ready to raise the issues of the poor and to work for the betterment of the youth, women and weaker sections of the society.”

Rahul Gandhi addresses the people in Arunachal Pradesh
'Though she be little...': Rahul Gandhi shakes the hand of one of the nation's youngest Nyay Yoddhas in Arunachal
Locals greet the Congress leader with a traditional scarf and a Nyishi headdress, surmounted by a hornbill beak
Children greet and cheer the Congress leader on his quest for justice
An older Nyay Yoddha in Arunachal Pradesh with Gandhi and the National flag
Rahul Gandhi speaks to schoolchildren gathered along the route to greet the Nyay Yatra bus
Meeting supporters in Arunachal Pradesh
Rahul Gandhi with vegetable vendors at an Arunachal market

He also criticised the BJP for the huge unemployment in the country.

“In the BJP regime, neither the government was ready to hear the people's grievances nor did the media raise their issues. During the Yatra, I am travelling for several hours from morning to evening and stop at places to hear the pain and sufferings of the people,” he said.

Foremost in meeting Gandhi were members of the Tai Ahom delegation. They discussed their problems with him in detail.

Earlier, Gandhi was received by Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki at the Gumto check gate in Papum Pare district, where the flag handover ceremony was held.

The flag handover ceremony was held between Tuki and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhupen Borah in the presence of senior party leaders from both states.

Adorned in traditional Nyishi headgear, Gandhi went to Doimukh along with hundreds of party workers, where he addressed a public rally.

From Doimukh, Gandhi reached Naharlagun by bus and interacted with street vendors there, party sources said.

Gandhi would also address a press conference at Itanagar later in the day.

The Congress MP leaves the state capital on Sunday morning through Hollongi to continue.

Before arriving in Arunachal in the afternoon, the leader of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra had visited the Padumoni Than temple (circa 1951) in Lakhimpur, Assam earlier, stopping to find inspiration in the tranquil atmosphere.

He offered a floral tribute to Lachit Borphukan, the commander of the Ahom Army who led them to victory in the Battle of Saraighat against an invasion by the vast Mughal forces. Lachit Borphukan remains an inspiration to the youth of this region for his bravery and resolve in the face of a superior, seemingly overwhelming enemy—which aligns well with the 'Daro Mat (don't give in to fear)' motto of the Nyay Yatra's bid for realising the 'justice' enshrined in India's Constitution.

Gandhi also laid a floral tribute at the memorial to Birsa Munda.

As the bus approached Lakhimpur, Gandhi got off to greet the schoolchildren who had lined up along the route chanting "Jodo, Jodo, Bharat Jodo". He commended their clarity of vision for the country's future before stopping for lunch in Govindpur.

Post lunch, the yatra moved towards Harmutti, also in Lakhimpur, where he heard from a group of 4 people who spoke to him of the injustice they endured in their experience with the Modi government's Agnipath scheme.

Crossing over into Arunachal and holding his first townhall there in Gumta, Gandhi said:

North-East (India) is as important as other big states in the country.
We spend 6-7 hours travelling and in the evening spend 20 minutes for the speeches.
I met young adults from Arunachal who mentioned how the government had destroyed their future. Similarly, the government has pushed the future of around 1.50 lakh youth into darkness.
If you have any problem with China or otherwise, we would like to listen to them. This Yatra is for that purpose.
This Yatra is to protect your language and your culture.

The convoy was passing through Itanagar when Gandhi noticed a group of employees from the Indian Oil plant waiting to greet him. He asked for the bus to be stopped so he could meet them personally.

Gandhi then continued on foot in a padayatra from Mithun Gate, in Itanagar.

On his way he met Toke Tekom, a representative of the Arunachal Pradesh Olympic Association, who ruefully mentioned the hurt felt by himself and other sportspersons of the state when China denied them accreditation.

With PTI inputs

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