bharat jodo yatra: Ashok Gehlot says ‘Rahul best suited to become Congress president’

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot made a strong pitch for Rahul Gandhi’s return as Congress president, hours before Gandhi launched the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kanyakumari on Wednesday. Gehlot asserted that Gandhi was the best person to take along all sections of the party and lead them at this critical juncture.

Addressing a news conference on the yatra, Gehlot, widely perceived to be the first preference of the Gandhi family to head the Congress should Rahul Gandhi stick to his decision not to reclaim the top post, said Rahul Gandhi was the best bet to lead the party and stressed the Gandhi family always took decisions in the interest of the party.

“All Congress persons want Rahul Gandhi to become the Congress president. If Rahulji becomes president, he can bring everyone together and make the party stronger and united. Under his leadership, the party will move forward, will be strengthened and meet the challenges,” Gehlot said.

Gehlot said that the RSS-BJP politics ‘aimed at creating communal polarisation’ could lead to civil war and asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not appealing for brotherhood and harmony. “There is so much polarization; hate has been created in the name of caste and religion. If this is not controlled, it can go towards civil war. We have been requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal that there be love, brotherhood and harmony among people and violence will not be tolerated. He has not done so till now,” Gehlot said.

AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership will be “a historic” event that will also rejuvenate the Congress party. Digvijaya Singh, who is the chairman of the coordination committee of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, said the yatra would ‘expose the economic crisis and communal rift’ the Modi government’s policies created and would rally and unite the people against these policies. Singh said Gandhi would walk the entire 3,500 km of the yatra. When he has to travel to address election rallies, the yatra would halt and resume from the point when he re-joins it.

Transformational Moment: Sonia

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has termed the launch of the Bharat Jodo Yatra as a “landmark occasion” and felt it would prove to be a “transformational moment” in India politics. As Gandhi is abroad for medical check-up, her message was read out at the yatra launch rally. “This is a landmark occasion for our great party, the Indian National Congress, with such a glorious legacy. I am confident that our organisation will be rejuvenated. It is also a transformational moment in Indian politics,” Gandhi said in her message.

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