Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said his experience was enriching as the Bharat Jodo Yatra wound up its Maharashtra leg while the party said converting the Yatra into electoral success will take a while.
The Congress said the Yatra is a revolutionary moment for national politics and the party.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi accused the Narendra Modi government of weakening laws such as the PESA Act, Forest Rights Act etc framed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to empower tribals and the reservation for women in local bodies.
He said Congress will strengthen these laws further after coming to power again.
Gandhi said tribals are the ”first owners” of the country and have equal rights as other citizens.
A ‘Light of Unity’ show was held in Nimkhed in Buldhana district.
Veteran actor Amol Palekar and his wife, writer-filmmaker Sandhya Gokhale, participated in the Yatra.
Gandhi said he learnt a lot during his 14-day sojourn and the experience in the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj and Mahatma Phule was enriching.
”I will always cherish this experience,” he said, adding he interacted with farmers, youth, women, Dalits and backward classes and deprived sections of the society on the socio-political situation in the country.
The foot march which set out from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, reached Jalgaon Jamod from Bhendval during the day.
The march, which reached the Madhya Pradesh border by the evening, will halt at Nimkhed for two days before moving into Burhanpur in the neighbouring state.
During the yatra, Gandhi had kicked up a row by saying that freedom fighter V D Savarkar had written mercy petitions to the British out of fear from the Andaman jail, inviting strong reactions from BJP and other parties.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut had said the statement had the potential to create a rift in the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress.
Congress General Secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Yatra is a ”revolutionary moment” for national politics as well as the party and not an event, ”and converting it into electoral success will take a while”.
He said economic disparity, (communal) polarisation and political dictatorship were the issues highlighted during the yatra.
Addressing a press conference, Ramesh claimed people were looking for an alternative and wanted to get rid of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
”The Congress is the only ideology that presents an alternative to the BJP and the RSS. The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a revolutionary moment for national politics and the Congress and not an event,” he said.
He said women, youth and farmers were prominent participants of the yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress.
The yatra has presented an inspiring message and a ”new Congress” is emerging, he claimed.
Maharashtra coordinator for the yatra Balasaheb Thorat said the foot march covered more than 380 km in the state.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)