Witness, New Delhi: Party leader Rahul Gandhi is starting the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Wednesday to provide new opportunities to the Congress, which is facing a life and death problem due to successive defeats in the elections, the departure of key leaders and internal fights. Congress has high hopes on this trip. Congress ranks are hoping that the 3,500-km Chiluku Yatra will revive the party after suffering a crushing defeat in two consecutive general elections and losing one state each. Seven states face assembly elections before the 2024 general elections. Loud discussions are going on as to how much the party will benefit from Rahul’s trip.
Quit India movement inspired…
Rahul will start the Bharat Jodo Yatra from September 7, when Gandhi started the Quit India movement eighty years ago. Along with 117 Congress leaders, he will go on a padayatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir for five months. The route map has been designed to cover 12 states and 2 Union Territories. Addressing the growing sectarianism and intolerant politics in the country, it hopes to provide an alternative to economic systems that destroy livelihoods. It will go to the people explaining the anti-farmer laws, price rise, unemployment and privatization.
Congress is undertaking this trip with a strong political aspiration to show an alternative path to the BJP in the country and seize power at the Center and make a foothold in the states. Before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the assembly elections of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will be a test for the party. In all the states except Telangana, BJP has to fight face to face. Especially in Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, public opposition to the BJP governments should be converted into votes. The infighting in Karnataka has become an embarrassment for the Congress. Aam Aadmi Party is taking over the seat of Congress in Gujarat. Even if the Congress is in power in Rajasthan, it will not be easy to regain control there. The same situation is seen in the ruling Chhattisgarh.
An ordeal for Rahul
In 2014 and 2019 elections, the Congress suffered the biggest defeat ever in the general elections held in 27 years from 1985 till now. In 2014 and 2019, AICC managed to get only 19.3 percent of the votes and 19.5 percent of the votes in this election, which was held after Rahul Gandhi took charge as AICC vice president. Out of the 49 assembly elections held between 2014-2022, the party lost 39 elections. It won only 4 state elections and was able to form coalition governments in 6 more cases. Criticizing Rahul’s attitude, former Union Ministers Gulannabi Jad, Kapil Sibal, Ashwini Kumar, SP Singh, Murali Devra and many senior leaders left the Congress. In the face of criticism that Rahul is not at all fit for the post of party president, it is safe to say that the Bharat Jodo Yatra will be a litmus test for him.
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