Thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse and hear a few words from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as he reached Meghalaya while on his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra today.
India’s attention may have largely been drawn to Ayodhya for the controversial Ram temple opening but a number of people still turned up for the Nehru-Gandhi scion.
Gandhi entered Meghalaya at Jorabat where he was warmly welcomed by state Congress president and Shillong MP Vincent Pala and other party leaders. Gandhi was accompanied by other Congress leaders, such as Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, party general secretary KC Venugopal and party member in charge of Meghalaya A Chellakumar.
Addressing the crowd, most of whom were waving party flags, Gandhi thanked the thousands of supporters who have joined him on the yatra, which began in Manipur and which will conclude in Mumbai. He emphasised that the primary objective of his journey is to unite the people of the country to advocate for justice, alleging discrimination under the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.
Gandhi had already embarked on a cross-India yatra, from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir in the north last year.
He reiterated the commencement of his new yatra aims to hear the concerns of people across the nation who feel they have been subjected to discrimination in various aspects of their lives.
Expressing his concern, Gandhi highlighted what he described as the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Manipur clash last year, in which hundreds of lives have been lost and thousands displaced due to ethnic infighting.
“It is a matter of great concern that Narendra Modi is silent on the Manipur clash, where hundreds of precious lives were lost and thousands of people were displaced due to ethnic infighting. The BJP is not serious about solving this issue,” he said.
Gandhi also claimed that the BJP administration has failed to respect the culture, religion and identity of the people, fostering an environment of exclusion. Focusing on a local issue, namely the campaign to include the Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, Gandhi said that the BJP government does not have the willpower to include them as the party neglects unique identities within the country.
He also slammed remarks during the state election campaign last year where the BJP’s Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, called out Meghalaya for being one of the most corrupt states in the country under the National People’s Party and yet, when the results were in, the BJP was the first party to make a deal with the NPP to form the new government.
Gandhi is scheduled to attend an interaction with youth at the Assam-Meghalaya border on Tuesday morning before the Yatra re-enters Assam for its final leg of the Assam tour.