Jaipur: The Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra will on Sunday evening enter Congress-ruled Rajasthan, which has been witnessing a tussle between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
The yatra will enter the state from Jhalawar, the stronghold of the BJP, from Madhya Pradesh and will cover a distance of 500 km in 17 days. This is the first time that the yatra has entered a Congress ruled state.
Gandhi and other yatris will be given a grand reception at Chawli Chauraha in Jhalrapatan (Jhalawar).
Ahead of the yatra, chief minister Gehlot and Pilot, who have differences and have been in a tug of war for the CM's post, presented a united face.
Dismissing apprehensions that infighting may affect the Yatra in Rajasthan, Pilot on Sunday told PTI that the party's state unit is "fully united" and focussed on ensuring that the Yatra is even more successful than it has been in other states.
The yatra will only add to the efforts towards the next election in 12 months' time, the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.
The Gehlot government has also pacified Gurjar leader Vijay Singh Bainsla, who had threatened to disrupt the yatra over his pending demand regarding reservation and other issues with the state government, by holding a series of meetings on the issues recently. Bainsla has withdrawn his protest against the yatra.
PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra said all preparations have been completed in Jhalawar.
We all are ready to welcome the Bharat Jodo Yatra today. All preparations have been completed. It will be a historic yatra in the state. Besides party workers, there is great enthusiasm among the people of the state for this yatra, he said.
Jhalawar is a BJP stronghold having the influence of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. She represents Jhalrapatan assembly constituency of Jhalawar. All the four assembly constituencies in this district are with the BJP and Raje's son Dushyant Singh is MP from Jhalawar Lok Sabha seat.
A day before the entry of the yatra, Pilot had issued a video on his social media platforms to welcome Gandhi.
"Entire Rajasthan is ready to join Rahul ji's Bharat Jodo Yatra. Are you coming?" Pilot said in the video.
The video showed him tying shoelace, stretching his body, fixing his spectacles and running as more people joined him.
Gandhi will start the Rajasthan leg of yatra on Monday at 6 am from Kali Talai. He will reach Bali Borda chauraha at 10 am after covering a distance of 14 km. After lunch, the yatra will resume from Nahardi at 3.30 pm and will reach Chandrabhaga Chauraha at 6.30 pm.
The Congress leader will have a corner meeting at Chandrabhaga chauraha in the evening. The night stay will be in the sports complex of Jhalawar.
Gandhi will cover nearly 500 km in the state traversing through Jhalawar, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa and Alwar districts before entering Haryana on December 21.
Gandhi is scheduled to hold dialogue with farmers at Lalsot in Dausa on December 15 and address a public rally in Alwar's Malakheda on December 19....