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Spirit of Bharat Jodo Yatra is to bring Indians together, irrespective of religion, community: Rahul Gandhi

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala)-Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the spirit of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is to bring Indians together irrespective of religion, community and remind them that this is one country and it will be successful if we stand together and are respectful towards each other. While addressing the people, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said, "The spirit of this yatra is to bring Indians together regardless of religion, community and remind them that this is one country and it will be successful if we stand together and are respectful to each other." Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra entered its seventh day on Tuesday. Party leaders led by Rahul Gandhi started the march from Kaniyapuram today. The Yatra is in its Kerala leg and would traverse through the state for the next 17 days. Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, "India's dream is broken, not scattered. To accomplish the dream, we are connecting India. 100 km done. And, we have just begun." The 3,500-km march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir will be completed in 150 days and cover as many as 12 states. From Kerala, the Yatra will traverse through the state for the next 18 days, reaching Karnataka on September 30. It will be in Karnataka for 21 days before moving north. The Padyatra (march) will cover a distance of 25 km every day. A political row erupted after Congress posted a picture of a burning pair of RSS shorts on Twitter. Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha President Tejasvi Surya said the picture depicted that the fire Congress has stoked in the past has burned their political fortunes in the country. Earlier Congress tweeted a picture of burning 'Khakhi' shorts and wrote, "To free the country from shackles of hate and undo the damage done by BJP-RSS. Step by step, we will reach our goal". The INC tweet came in light of the current Bharat Jodo Yatra which marks day 6 today. In a series of tweets, Survya recalled various incidents of violence in the past including the Delhi Sikh riots in 1984 and Godhra incident in 2002 where Karsevaks were burnt alive. The BJP leader hit out at Rahul Gandhi who is leading the Yatra and is currently in Kerala, and said that he is "fighting against the Indian state". Making a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi for meeting controversial Catholic priest George Ponnaiah, Union Minister Ajay Bhatt on Sunday slammed him for supporting people who want to divide India and said that Congress has been opposing every decision of PM Modi including the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and the surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Reacting to Catholic priest George Ponnaiah's controversial statement "Jesus Christ is the real God, not like Shakti," Bhatt said that Rahul Gandhi is meeting "divisive personalities, Congress has consistently stood in support of former party president Rahul Gandhi on the priest controversy." "Initially it talked about containers and later about Rahul Gandhi's shirt and shoes. Tomorrow it will raise some other frivolous issues," party leader Jairam Ramesh said at Neyyattinkkara in Thiruvananthapuram district. "We just started our yatra but it seems the BJP is really worried over the unprecedented response it is getting. We can gauge it from its leaders' reactions. Like PM Modi he is not spending public money on his clothing," Ramesh said. According to Congress, the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is being held to combat the divisive politics of the BJP-led Centre and to awaken the people of the country to the dangers of economic inequalities, social polarisation, and political centralization. The Yatra includes Padayatras, rallies, and public meetings which will be attended by the senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Notably, all the party MPs, leaders, and workers along with Rahul Gandhi are staying together. Sleeping beds, toilets, and ACs are also installed in some of the containers. During the journey, the temperature and environment will differ in many areas. The arrangements have been made keeping in view the intense heat and humidity with the change of place. The Congress suffered a debacle in the assembly polls held earlier this year and the Yatra is seen as an attempt to rally the party rank and file for the upcoming electoral battles.

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