Elections can be won with hatred, violence and anger, but these cannot solve the socio-economic problems facing the country and the BJP has proven this, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed on Monday as the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by him concluded its second day in Kerala.
Buoyed by the encouraging turnout of people, whose numbers increased as the march progressed during the day, lining the streets and joining the procession in thousands, Mr Gandhi attacked the BJP by alleging that it has proved that hatred can be used politically and to win polls, but cannot generate employment.
He further claimed that an atmosphere of anger and hatred is being generated in the country by a particular ideology which is directly opposed to the spirit of working together and harmony in Kerala and without such a spirit India cannot achieve anything.
“You can win elections with hatred, violence and anger, but you cannot do anything for the country with that. That is what BJP has proven. But you will not solve the problem of unemployment or that of high prices with anger.
“It cannot be done,” Mr Gandhi said addressing a crowd of thousands at Kazhakoottam here where the yatra ended for the day after completing 100 kilometers since September 7 when it commenced from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to traverse 3,570 kilometers and reach Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Gandhi, who is also the MP from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat from Kerala, said that a leader has to accept that the wisdom lies with the people and the next step is to “listen and understand” what they are saying.
However, conversation and the voice of the people have been silenced in India as the press was saying what the government of the nation wants it to say and that is due to the pressure brought on the owners of media organisations by the ruling dispensation, he alleged.
“We understand they (press) are scared to say what the truth is. That is why the Bharat Jodo Yatra’s aim is to listen to the people and from that conversation develop a vision for India.
“A vision rooted in your traditions, your past and ideas of your great leaders. But it would be a vision which looks into the future, into the 21st century and imagines what a prosperous Kerala or India would look like.” But before doing any of that, first the hatred and anger that the BJP is allegedly spreading in society has to be countered, he contended.
“India’s dream is broken, not scattered. To realise that dream, we are bringing India together. 100 kms done. And, we have just begun,” Gandhi tweeted at the end of the day’s yatra.
Earlier in the day, in a Facebook post, Mr Gandhi said, “As the journey progresses, people are joining us, there is hope in their eyes, they want to tell us something. We are also trying to listen to as many people as possible.
“… we understand that they are joining us with hope. It is our duty to live up to their expectations and secure the future of the country.” After the first leg of the day’s march ended at Pattom here, Gandhi paid tributes at the Martyrs’ Column in Palayam, met eminent personalities and religious leaders of Kerala, distributed prizes to winners of the Jawahar Bal Manch painting competition and interacted with the children there and offered prayers at Chattampi Swami temple at Kannammoola in the state capital.
He also met a delegation of the fisherfolk who have been protesting outside the gates of Vizhinjam port here since August 16 raising various demands such as stopping of the construction for fresh studies, increase in kerosene subsidies or its availability at cheaper rates, housing and education.
After meeting him, one of the priests of the Latin Archdiocese, which is leading the protest, told the media that they have given in writing their problems and concerns to Gandhi who perused the same and asked the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee to indicate its stand on the issue in the coming days.
“The discussions were fruitful. We expect a favourable response from KPCC,” the priest said.
The second leg of the yatra resumed at around 5 PM and during the march Gandhi also took a short tea break at a roadside eatery where he enjoyed banana chips and other snacks along with the senior Congress leaders accompanying him.
After the yatra concluded for the day at Kazhakoottam, AICC general secretary in-charge of Communications Jairam Ramesh tweeted that that the Bharat Jodo Yatra has completed exactly 100 kms and it has “rattled, unnerved and disturbed the BJP, whereas the Congress party has already been refreshed 100-fold. Every step we walk renews our resolve!” The 150-day foot march was launched from Kanyakumari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will cover 12 states and two Union territories.
As Mr Gandhi commenced his walk from Vellayani junction here this morning, he said in a Facebook post that “Every morning fills me with hope and conviction that a better tomorrow awaits India and our young generation. Everyone for India, Every step for India.” The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered Kerala on Saturday evening, will traverse through the state covering 450 kilometres, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1
The first day of Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala, where the party has a significant cadre base and followers, had also seen a huge turnout.