"Want to make Manipur peaceful, harmonious again": Rahul Gandhi
On day 2 of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Gandhi and other participants reached Senapati in Manipur, stopping to walk with and talk with citizens on the way
"The Congress stands with the people of Manipur and wants to make the state peaceful and harmonious again," said former party chief Rahul Gandhi today, 15 January, as he interacted with the people on the second day of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.
Starting the yatra this morning in the customised Volvo bus, part of Gandhi's journey today was a padayatra, walking for some distance with local citizens and meeting people to enquire about their problems.
Several people, a number of them women and children, had lined up along the yatra route to cheer the bus as it made its way through several busy areas.
Addressing the people from atop the bus in Senapati, Gandhi said the Congress spoke also of building on the success of the first Bharat Jodo Yatra, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, where the idea was simply to bring the diverse people of India together.
"It was a very successful yatra where we walked over 4,000 km," he said.
"We wanted to do another yatra from east to west and we decided that the most powerful thing would be to start from Manipur so that the people of India get a sense of what the people of Manipur have been through, the difficulty that they have been through, the struggles they have been through," the Congress leader said.
"I understand that you have faced a tragedy. You have lost family members. You have lost property. And I want you to know that we are fully standing with you—we want to bring peace back to Manipur. We want to make Manipur peaceful and harmonious again," Gandhi told the people.
He said he has been speaking with delegations from the state who have been telling him about the issues the people of Manipur have been facing.
"I hope peace returns to Manipur as soon as possible," Gandhi added.
In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh earlier said: 'Day 2 of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra began bright and early at 7:30 am with the traditional flag hoisting by Seva Dal at the campsite. PCC President of Manipur @meghachandra_k hoisted the flag.'
Ramesh also noted in his post that the yatra was moving from Sekmai to Kangpokpi, and then Senapati (all destinations within Manipur), before it would finally halt tonight in the neighbouring state of Nagaland.
The yatra began Sunday, 14 January, from violence-hit Manipur with Gandhi asserting that the party would present a new vision for India that will be based on harmony, brotherhood and equitability and devoid of hatred, violence and monopoly.
At a rally in Thoubal on Sunday to flag off the 6,700 km yatra, Gandhi and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for still not having found time to visit Manipur despite it reeling under ethnic violence for the better part of a year now, and vowed to ensure justice for its people.
The ethnic violence in the north-eastern state, which broke out in May last year, has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands from their homes.
The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will pass through 100 Lok Sabha constituencies in 15 states. It will traverse 6,713 km, with the participants alternately travelling by buses and on foot, stopping for public meetings at key destinations, and will culminate in Mumbai, Maharashtra, on 20 or 21 March.
Edited PTI inputs