‘Govt Diverting People’s Attention, Looting Them’: Rahul Gandhi As Bharat Jodo Yatra Enters J&K

New Delhi: Hundreds of people walked alongside the Congress leader as Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday evening, news agency PTI reported.

Punjab’s Congress unit gave the party flag to a leader from the Jammu and Kashmir unit as the foot march entered the Valley.

Rahul Gandhi said he has been walking about seven hours a day, covering 25 km each day during the ongoing march, but nobody was tired as some people had predicted.

“I later felt we are not feeling tired because people are pushing us forward. If someone falls, he is supported within seconds… nobody is asking anyone what is your religion,” PTI quoted Rahul as saying.

Launching an attack on the Centre, the Congress leader said that the government is indulging in mass pickpocketing by diverting the attention of people and then looting them.

Addressing a rally in Lakhanpur, the former party president said he had walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and talked to thousands of people.

“The BJP and RSS are spreading hatred. I earlier thought it ran deep but it does not and is mainly seen on television,” Gandhi said in his first stop at the union territory, about 90 km from Jammu.

He listed hatred, violence, unemployment and price rise as the main issues ailing the country and blamed the media for not highlighting them.

Criticising the media for not focusing on the right issues, Rahul Gandhi said it uses topics such as Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Akshay Kumar to divert the attention of people.

Speaking on a personal note, Gandhi said his ancestors belonged to this land and he felt he was returning home.

“I am going back to my roots, I know the suffering of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and come to you with a bowed head,” he said.

Notably, Rahul Gandhi kicked off the Bharat Jodo yatra from Kanyakumari in September and is scheduled to conclude in Srinagar on January 30.

Meanwhile, Union minister Jitendra Singh slammed the Congress and said their politics thrived on separatism.

“We had seen that era when bloodshed was going on in the name of Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism was at its peak in the 1990s. BJP took out a yatra at that time. It was this party and its leaders who opposed it then. They had attempted to stop it,” news agency ANI quoted Singh as saying.

“In 2011, when Tiranga Yatra was taken out, three of our senior leaders – Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were arrested at the airport in Jammu and sent to Pathankot. How can we forget that? We were sitting on a protest,” Singh said, adding, “Now, when PM Modi did whatever they couldn’t – abrogation of Art 370, Jammu and Kashmir becoming a part of mainstream – they’re expressing their love. Reality is that their politics thrived from separatism. Wherever Bharat Jodo Yatra passed from, ‘Congress Todo’ occurred there.”  

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