Friday, January 27, 2023

Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan, CM Gehlot alleges media ‘boycott’

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi began the Rajasthan leg of his Bharat Jodo Yatra from Jhalawar district on Monday, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot in attendance.
The 89th day of the yatra started from Kali Talai in Jhalrapatan, a rural area on the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border.
Gandhi set off the yatra at 6.10 am when the temperature was 13 degrees Celsius, but he was seemingly comfortable walking in a half sleeves T-shirt and trousers teamed with sports shoes, while the other leaders and workers were seen in jackets. The other notable leaders who accompanied Gandhi were AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Govind Singh Dotasra, senior leader Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas.
Addressing a press conference here, Gehlot lashed out at the mainstream national media, claiming they have “boycotted” the yatra as editors and owners were under pressure. Gehlot claimed the media has completely failed to fulfil their responsibility as the fourth pillar of democracy, and history will not forgive them for that. “Kaan khol kar sun lo…national media wale bhi. state media wale bhi. Itihas aapko maaf nahi karega!” he said. (“Listen carefully…national and state media, history will not forgive you).”
As the Rajasthan chief minister launched his tirade against the media, All India Congress Committee general secretary (Communication) Jairam Ramesh intervened to defend the journalists present there, saying they should not be blamed as they have been doing their job properly.
However, he also lamented the coverage of the yatra in the mainstream was not as per their expectations.
The Rajasthan chief minister further said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was attracting the attention of “the whole world” and the youth associated with it would prove to be an asset for Rahul Gandhi. He was referring to the 10 yatris who have accompanied Gandhi from the beginning of the yatra on September 7.
“This yatra is not only attracting the attention of the country but the whole world. It is a big message for those countries where there is democracy,” Gehlot said.
For those where there is no democracy, Gandhi is the man walking the path of truth and non-violence, and urging people who believe in democracy to join the yatra, he said.
In the course of his march, Gandhi waved at people who participated in it and interacted with about half-a-dozen children. He sipped his morning tea at a roadside dhaba.
During the yatra, former MP Raghuveer Meena felt uneasiness and was taken to the district hospital in Jhalawar in an ambulance.
After covering about 14 km, the padayatra halted at Baliborda chauraha. It resumed after lunch from the Nahardi area around 3.30 pm.
The Congress party tweeted in Hindi, asking its members and supporters not to slow down but deliver “something amazing”.
“Bharat Jodo Yatra has saluted the soil of bravery, and Rajasthan, which is a land of histories, will create another history,” the party tweeted.
The yatra entered Rajasthan from Madhya Pradesh on Sunday evening.
While Gehlot shared pictures on Twitter, Pilot took to the micro-blogging platform to convey that the yatra in the state started with a resolve to fulfil hopes and expectations of the youth.
Dotasara tweeted, “The caravan of Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi to tie India in the thread of love, harmony and unity has now set out to create history in Rajasthan.”
Rajasthan is the only Congress-ruled state where the yatra has entered and will cover about 500 km passing through Jhalawar, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa and Alwar districts over 17 days before entering Haryana on December 21.
Gandhi will interact with farmers at Lalsot in Dausa on December 15 and address a public meeting at Malakheda in Alwar on December 19.
The yatra started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and has so far covered the five southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, and then traversed through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
It will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir in early February 2023, covering 3,570 km in 150 days.

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