Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra enters Nagaland, with a 'special ticket'
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed with the 'ticket' which has a T-shirt and trouser-clad Gandhi in a walking pose and is autographed by him
Anybody who wants to board Rahul Gandhi's 'Mohabbat ki Dukaan' bus for the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra must get a 'special ticket' which has a picture of the former Congress president in his yatra avatar printed on it.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed with the 'ticket' which has a T-shirt and trouser-clad Gandhi in a walking pose and is autographed by him.
Posing with the ticket, Ramesh said in a post in Hindi on X, "This is the ticket for the 'Mohabbat Ki Dukaan' bus in which Rahul Gandhi is travelling in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Those who want to meet and talk to Rahul Gandhi in this journey of justice against the injustice of the last 10 years, have been given such tickets and called in the bus," he said.
Gandhi is travelling in a custom-made Volvo bus that has a hydraulic lift for the leader to address the crowds from atop the vehicle. The bus has 'Mohabbat ki Dukaan' printed on it and Congress leaders are calling the vehicle 'Mohabbat Ki Dukaan' on wheels.
Gandhi had first used the term 'mohabbat ki dukaan (shop of love)' during the Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying he was opening mohabbat ki dukaan in a 'nafrat ka bazaar (market of hate)'.
The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached Nagaland on Monday evening. Gandhi arrived along with his party colleagues in Khuzama village in Kohima district, bordering Manipur.
The yatra was flagged off on Sunday by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge from Thoubal in Manipur. People in Khuzama gave a rousing welcome to Gandhi and his team on their arrival. They will take a night halt at the village.
During his stay, Gandhi will hold a series of closed-door meetings with Naga tribal organisations, including Naga Hoho, civil society groups and church bodies on the issues and problems faced by them, state Congress working president Khriedi Theunuo said..
Gandhi will traverse through at least five districts of the state — Kohima, Tseminyu, Wokha, Zunheboto and Mokokchung — holding rallies, before entering Assam on 18 January, he said.
On Tuesday, he will commence the Nagaland leg of the yatra from Viswema village and upon reaching state capital Kohima, will lay a wreath at the World War II cemetery. He will also address a public meeting at High School Junction before proceeding to other districts.
The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will pass through 100 Lok Sabha constituencies in 15 states. It will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses but also on foot, and culminate in Mumbai on 20 or 21 March.
The yatra comes during the build-up to the crucial Lok Sabha elections this year, with the 26-party Opposition INDIA bloc taking on the BJP. The Congress has said the march aims to rally Indian citizens, but is not limited merely to electioneering.
"If you see its route, it's spending a considerable amount of time in the northeast where the corresponding number of seats in Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament) is quite limited," Congress party spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi told news agency DW.
"If it was done with an electoral mindset then we would have looked at states where there are a maximum number of seats and would have focused on that."
The Congress representative accused the BJP of trying to "subjugate" and disempower its people, adding that the march serves as a reminder to the elites that India will not be ruled by "a select few".
"It is more about galvanising people who are afraid that five more years of PM Modi would spell doom for Indian constitutional values and would perpetuate the inequality that has increased between the rich and poor," Gogoi said.
With inputs from DW