The Bharat Jodo Yatra – which traversed through 12 states and two Union territories – covering a distance of nearly 3,800 kilometers, will officially conclude on Monday in Srinagar. The grand old party invited 24 parties to mark the culmination of foot march but several parties including its allies have expressed their inability in joining the rally. On Sunday, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury yet again targeted West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s top leadership is also unlikely to attend the event.
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When he was questioned about Banerjee’s absence from the Yatra, he told news agency ANI: “Our party has invited everyone (at the end of Bharat Jodo Yatra). All those who want to fight against Modi ji should come. Ask Mamata ji why she is not coming.” His comment was followed by a “brokerage (dalali)” charge against the TMC chief.
Earlier, Chowdhury had asserted that the TMC boss “can’t do anything that’ll upset Modi ji”. “There’s ‘Mo-Mo’, an understanding between Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. Mamata ji can’t do anything that’ll upset Modi ji. When Modi ji says- India ‘Congress-free’, then Mamata ji also says Congress should be removed from Bengal”, he had said.
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Chowdhury’s claims of understanding between PM Modi and Mamata Banerjee came even as she continued to attack the Centre over multiple issues, including the alleged misuse of probe agencies and funds for the state.
On January 11, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge invited leaders from 24 like-minded parties to the rally, which is expected to be a show of opposition unity a year before the national elections. However, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, and TDP are among the parties to skip the function, while Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, National Conference are among the parties that are expected to attend the event.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi unfurled the national flag at the historic clock tower of Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar as part of the yatra, and completed the final lap of the yatra along with his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, party leaders and workers.
He also dismissed remarks on “fissures in opposition unity”. “The opposition will fight in a united manner,” he said.
(With inputs from ANI)