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India

Rahul Gandhi Focused On Bharat Jodo Yatra, Faction-Ridden HP Cong Hell-Bent On Cong Todo

The route of the Bharat jodo yatra itself is questionable given that the poll-bound and communally sensitive state of Gujarat, and also Himachal Pradesh, both do not figure in the yatra schedule.

Rahul Gandhi
Senior Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi. (Image : PTI)

Chandigarh: Even as Congress supremo Rahul Gandhi’s tryst with Bharat jodo began with a 150-day yatra traversing 3,570-km and passing through 12 states on September 7, Congress leaders of one of the two poll-bound states of Himachal Pradesh are hell-bent on Congress todo (breaking the Congress party) given the factionalism in the party.

That high command’s focus is the 2024 parliamentary elections and not Himachal and Gujarat is a telling story of how the party is losing the plot. And, the route of the Bharat jodo yatra itself is questionable given that the poll-bound and communally sensitive state of Gujarat, and also Himachal Pradesh, both do not figure in the yatra schedule.

The 3,570-km yatra began from Kanyakumari and will meander through Tiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nilumbur, Mysore, Bellary, Raichur, Vikarabad, Nanded, Jalgaon Jamod, Indore, Kota, Dausa, Alwar, Bulandshar, Delhi, Ambala, Pathankot, Jammu, and Srinagar.

Prof Mohammad Khalid, who has been closely following the Bharat jodo yatra says, “While the yatra couldn’t have possibly gone through all the states, at least Himachal fell quite on the way if not Gujarat. After all, Himachal has been a Congress bastion for more than five decades. How can the grand old party forfeit that advantage of this once being a Congress state? Does it not bother?”

A keen watcher of political affairs in Himachal sums up the goings-on in the Himachal Congress. He says, “It is apni-apni dafli apna-apna raag (marching to the beat of your own drum) is what the Congress leaders are doing in Himachal.”

“By focusing on the Bharat jodo yatra, and the focus of the yatra at present being down South, the Congress has put the cart before the horse,” says Prof Shashi Kant Sharma, a keen watcher of Himachal affairs.

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He adds, “not that the BJP is better placed in the hill state. Remember, the saffron party lost four bye-elections about a year back in Himachal. But if factionalism continues in Congress, they will lose the advantage they had”.

Notably, Himachal Congress has four factions —  former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh is heading one faction. Another two are headed by former ministers Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and Mukesh Agnihotri, and the fourth one is headed by the former HPCC chief Kaul Singh Thakur.