Go to Pakistan for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’: Himanta’s advice to Rahul triggers political slugfest | The Financial Express

Go to Pakistan for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’: Himanta’s advice to Rahul triggers political slugfest

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi ahead of the launch of the Congress’ ambitious ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

Go to Pakistan for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’: Himanta’s advice to Rahul triggers political slugfest
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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday took a swipe at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi ahead of the launch of the Congress’ ambitious ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Taking to Twitter, Sarma called the yatra “comedy of the century” and advised Rahul to “go to Pakistan” with his call for unification.

“The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a Comedy of the Century! The Bharat that we live in today is resilient, robust and united. The only time India was divided was in 1947 because Congress agreed for it. Rahul Gandhi ji should go to Pakistan for ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ if they want unification,” the Assam CM said.

Later, speaking to reporters, Sarma said that India was divided in 1947 under the Congress rule and that the party should go to Pakistan for the yatra “because India is united”.

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“India is intact. We are one nation. Congress disintegrated India in 1947. If Rahul Gandhi has any regret that his grandfather made a mistake, there is no use of Bharat Jodo Yatra in India. Try to integrate Pakistan, Bangladesh and work for Akhand Bharat,” the Assam CM said.

Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and 100-odd Bharat Yatris, will on Thursday embark upon a 3,500-km journey beginning from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, and traverse across 12 states and two union territories.

The ambitious mass contact programme is being seen as an attempt to create a pan-India appeal for Rahul Gandhi ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as well as to clear off the image that the party is largely limited to social media.

The ‘Mehengai par halla bol’ rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on September 4 was seen as a soft-launch for the party’s ambitious journey, where Gandhi will attempt to form a connection with the masses by meeting the masses.

The remarks by Sarma sparked a political slugfest, as Congress leaders came down heavily on his comments. Congress’ general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh called him “boyish and immature”.

“I think the Assam CM (Himanta Biswa Sarma) is boyish, immature and he makes statements only to prove his loyalty to his new masters,” Ramesh said. “I don’t take Assam CM seriously, because he has to prove his loyalty every day after having been a part of Congress for 20-25 years. He is a recent migrant to the BJP, so he has to make outrageous statements every day,” he added.

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who is also in Kanyakumari to take part in the yatra, said that Sarma is “spewing venom”.

“He must have visited the RSS office and must have seen the ‘Akhand Bharat’ map,” the CM said.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, calling Sarma an “opportunist”, said that he shouldn’t be taken seriously. “Such opportunists shouldn’t be taken seriously. It is a different matter that he has become a Chief Minister,” Gehlot, who is also in Kanyakumari, and will be a part of Bharat Jodo Yatra, said.

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