Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who has walked with party MP Rahul Gandhi in the pan-India foot march ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ for over 3,000 kms from Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari, today said that Mr Gandhi is able to walk in Delhi’s freezing weather in a half sleeve T-shirt as his body has become “proof” after enduring “attacks of hatred” from the BJP, which he said is especially fond of him.
“When you face so many attacks, your body becomes proof,” he told NDTV.
The message of the yatra is that if you want to be free of price rise and unemployment in the country, then all of us have to live cordially together, he said, adding that they hope we have love in our hearts, and in the country.
The grand old party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi, entered Delhi early this morning from Haryana’s Faridabad amid appeals by the union Health Minister to follow Covid protocols. Rahul Gandhi was seen walking in a half-sleeve white t-shirt, with no winter clothes on.
Top party leaders, including former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja, and Randeep Surjewala joined in. Actor-politican Kamal Haasan is also expected to join the march in the national capital today, along with families of some freedom fighters.
The BJP’s initial plan was to ignore the yatra, Kanhaiya Kumar said, “but they couldn’t do it when they saw people constantly joining in as this yatra’s scope is social, political, economic, religious, and also has a message of goodwill, which attracted all sections of society like workers, youth, and farmers,” he added.
The BJP then fell back on its “old dirty tricks” and started slandering the yatra, Mr Kumar said. On Covid protocols, he repeated the party line that the yatra will follow all scientific guidelines once issued by the Centre. “Covid is a disease, not an excuse. Don’t make it a political excuse,” he said.
On allegations by BJP leaders that the yatra is taking a break because Rahul Gandhi will travel abroad to celebrate the new year, he pointed to Jairam Ramesh’s challenge that is it happens, Congress will apologise, but if it doesn’t, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, who made the claim, should do the same.
He claimed the break is necessary to get the vehicles serviced as they will head to high altitudes now.
Today’s yatra will conclude at Red Fort in the evening with a three-hour break at Ashram. Congress’ mega march, which completed 100 days on December 16, will take a nine-day year-end break and will again resume on January 3 from Delhi.