Thiruvananthapuram: Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra commenced its 19-day long Kerala leg Sunday morning from Parassala area of the southernmost district of the state.
The three-hour long first phase of the yatra for the day ended at Neyyattinkara here at around 10.30 AM and the second three-hour phase is expected to resume at 4 PM.
Sharing photographs of the yatra, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that every section of society was excited about the Bharat Jodo Yatra which was evident from the participation and enthusiasm of farmers, laborers, youth, women, children and the elderly. "The message of the people of the country is clear- inflation, unemployment, economic crisis and divisive politics should end," she said in a Facebook post.
The Indian National Congress, buoyed by the huge following the yatra has generated, tweeted, "Joining hands, connecting hearts - #BharatJodoYatra bringing India together." Rahul Gandhi started the yatra at around 7.30 AM from Parassala after being formally welcomed by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and MP K Sudhakaran, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state Assembly V D Satheesan, and AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar and other senior Congress leaders.
The other senior party leaders who welcomed the former party chief included Congress MPs K C Venugopal and Shashi Tharoor as well as former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and ex-LoP Ramesh Chennithala.
A huge crowd of supporters and onlookers gathered to welcome the Gandhi scion. "Our Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala. The diversity of India is so apparent. Yesterday we entered Malayalam speaking Kerala from Tamil speaking Tamil Nadu. From Vannakam to Namaskaram . #BharatJodoYatra #TodoNahinJodo @INCIndia @Jairam_Ramesh @RahulGandhi," senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the national coordinator of the yatra, tweeted.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who is also accompanying Gandhi on the yatra, tweeted, "Today we begin the 4th day of the #BharatJodoYatra from Parassala Junction near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. As was only to be expected, the turnout of the crowds is huge so early on a Sunday morning!" Visuals aired on TV channels and the Twitter page of the Bharat Jodo Yatra showed thousands taking part in the yatra and people also lining up on the roadsides for a glimpse of Gandhi, take his photograph or exchange a few words with him.
"Gain freedom through education, gain strength through organization, gain prosperity through industry. Today, as we enter the beautiful state of Kerala, on the auspicious occasion of Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti, his words inspire every step we take on the #BharatJodoYatra," Gandhi had tweeted as the yatra entered Kerala Saturday evening.
After entering Kerala from Parassala close to the Tamil Nadu border, Gandhi would travel 450 km to Nilambur in Malappuram over a 19-day period.
The yatra will enter Kollam district on September 14. It will reach Alappuzha on September 17 and pass through Ernakulam district on September 21 and 22 and reach Thrissur on September 23. The Congress yatra will pass through Palakkad on September 26 and 27 and enter Malappuram on September 28. The yatra will cover 12 states and two Union territories, and a distance of 3,750 km from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Jammu and Kashmir over a period of 150 days. There will be mega rallies in 22 major cities....