Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the purpose of party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is to remove fear from the people’s minds and highlight issues like price rise and unemployment.
Amid raging talks about him wearing a T-shirt in the winter during the yatra, Mr Gandhi said the media is highlighting his attire but “taking no notice of the poor farmers and labourers walking along with him in torn clothes”.
Addressing a ‘nukkad sabha’ (street corner meeting) at Baraut on the Baghpat-Shamli border during the yatra, Mr Gandhi said despite covering a distance of more than 3,000 km on foot in 110 days, he is neither feeling tired nor sizzling in the cold in T-shirt.
Taking potshots at the media, he said, “I call them ‘mitra’ (friend) but they are not performing the duty of a friend as they do not raise the real issues out of fear of their bosses.”
“Since the media is not highlighting the issues of people, we thought of raising matters relating to demonetisation, wrong GST, price rise, unemployment in the Parliament, but there the mike was switched off. So we thought let’s walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, listen to the people,” the former Congress chief said.
He said the focus of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is to remove ‘dar’ (fear) from the people’s minds and raise the issue of price rise and unemployment.
After a brief address at the meeting, Mr Gandhi left for Delhi.
The UP leg of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ will resume Thursday morning from Shamli from where it will enter Haryana.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, will end with the hoisting of the national flag by Mr Gandhi in Srinagar on January 30.
Over the 108 days, the march has covered 49 districts in nine states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi.