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Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi meets MGNREGA workers, Dalit women in Raichur

Raichur (Karnataka) : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with several Congress leaders on Saturday, met with representatives of minority communities, and also had an interaction with MGNREGA workers and Devadasi Dalit women from Raichur. These engagements are part of the ongoing interactions Congress leaders are having with diverse social, economic religious, ethnic and cultural groups during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Along with Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders like Jairam Ramesh, Ranjeet Surjewala, Imran Pratapgarhi, and Karnataka PCC President DK Shivkumar, were also a part of the event. While speaking at the event, Rahul Gandhi said he believed that the "Definition of India is a welcoming place for everyone". He also went on to say that he was "Extremely disturbed by the way a limited number of people that control India were treating way minorities, women, Dalits, and small businesses". Finally, he assured that the divisiveness and hatred "fostered" by the BJP/ RSS combine would not last. The MGNREGA workers and Devadasi women from Raichur apprised Congress leaders of the history of the inhumane Devdasi practice and its illegal continuation. However, they also stated how the woman with the help of social groups had formed a people's bank with 18,000 members and a surplus of Rs 8 crores corpus. This, along with MGNREGA wages, had given them a measure of economic independence. However much more needed to be done to improve their socio-economic conditions. In response, Rahul Gandhi said that he was "Inspired by what the Devdasi women and MGNREGA workers were doing". He also stated, "This yatra is a personal journey I want to undertake, to meet people and understand for myself their problems". In the engagement with the minority community representatives, Ahmed Javed spoke of the psychosis or fear that is being felt by the minority community in the past few years. He also spoke of the cessation of educational loans for minority communities as a disturbing trend. Father Paul, from the Raichur diocese, stressed the need to respect all religions equally. Zafar, an architect and theatre artist, spoke of the need to encourage more minorities representation in the state legislature and Parliament. Father Simion spoke about how the current government had prohibited foreign assistance to minority institutions such as schools, leading to a worrying decline in standards. Earlier today, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi resumed the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' from Yeragera village, Raichur in Karnataka. The Yatra entered Andhra Pradesh on October 18. The Bharat Jodo Yatra launched on September 7, 2022, will cover as many as 12 states. The Yatra started from Kanyakumari and will end in Kashmir the following year by covering 25 km every day. The 3500 kilometres yatra will be a historic event for the Congress and the entire country. It is the longest march on foot by any Indian politician in the history of India, the Congress said earlier in a statement.

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