BJNY: Rahul Gandhi ends Gujarat leg with tribute to Sardar Patel

After covering seven districts in four days, the yatra ended in the state and will resume from Maharashtra's Nandurbar district on 12 March

Rahul Gandhi with young traders in Deogarh, Gujarat (photo: @bharatjodo/X)
Rahul Gandhi with young traders in Deogarh, Gujarat (photo: @bharatjodo/X)


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the Swaraj Ashram in Surat on Sunday and paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the last leg of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (BJNY) in Gujarat.

After covering seven districts of Gujarat in four days, the yatra ended in the state and will resume from Maharashtra's Nandurbar district on Tuesday after a one-day pause, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh told reporters in Tapi.

Gandhi visited the Swaraj Ashram at Bardoli in Surat district and offered tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. "For a few minutes, he went to the Swaraj Nivas which was set up by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1922. It was a moment of inspiration for the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra amid injustice being meted out to farmers from different states gathered at the Delhi-Haryana border," Ramesh said.

Gandhi later left for New Delhi from Vyara in Tapi district after completing the Gujarat leg of the yatra, a mass outreach programme ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, covering more than 400 km in four days across seven districts of the state.

The Swaraj Ashram was built by Sardar Patel as his residence and served as a centre for planning and executing the Bardoli Satyagraha -- a farmers' agitation and nationalist movement against increased taxation of cultivators by the then British colonial government. Mahatma Gandhi also stayed at the ashram briefly in 1936 and 1941.

Ramesh said, "We are fighting against the RSS ideology and will continue it for a long time. We will continue to fight elections, win or lose them, but Rahul Gandhi has shown a path to the Congress to strengthen our ideology and take it to the public."

"Tomorrow is the day of rest (for the yatra participants). It will resume at 2 pm on 12 March from Nandurbar district of Maharashtra where a tribal sammelan is organised," Ramesh said.

On 13 March, Gandhi and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge will address a gathering of tribal women in Dhule where they will announce the party's guarantee on justice for women, he said.

On the Trinamool Congress (TMC) announcing its list of candidates from West Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls without arriving at a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress, Ramesh said his party wanted to have a seat-sharing formula but it should be respectable and not one-sided.

"It is a matter of regret that we could not reach a seat-sharing formula. Any such formula cannot be one-sided but should be arrived at after talking honestly and with a big heart," he said. The formula should be based on mutual understanding, the Congress leader said.

"I cannot say whether it is a final decision on the TMC's part, but the Congress is ready till the last moment for arriving at an understanding. But it should be respectable, and not one-sided," he said.

On the family members of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel being upset at the Bharuch Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat going to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) under a seat-sharing agreement, Ramesh said Mumtaz Patel and Faisal Patel (Ahmed Patel's daughter and son) have expressed their unhappiness but they very much remain part of the Congress.

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