Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday commenced the Bharat Jodo Yatra on a spiritual note by paying his respects to renowned philosopher and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru at Sivagiri Mutt here.
At Sivagiri Mutt, Gandhi met the swamis there and offered prayers to the saint reformer before commencing the fourth day of the Kerala leg of the Congress party’s 3,570 kilometres and 150-day long foot march which started off from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and will conclude at Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharing pictures of his visit on Facebook, he said, “Visited the Sivagiri Mutt to offer my respects at the Samadhi of the great spiritual leader, philosopher and social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana Guru worked tirelessly for the upliftment of people and had a great influence on leaders of our freedom movement, including Mahatma Gandhi.”
Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretary in-charge Communication, also tweeted about it. “Before padayatra began, @RahulGandhi visited the most sacred Sivagiri Mutt to pay obeisance at Samadhi of Sree Narayana Guru who empowered millions and had a great influence on Gandhi and Ambedkar. He was a social revolutionary who remains inspirational. #BharatJodoYatra,” he tweeted.
The yatra, which began after 7.30 am from Navaikulam junction here, continued to witness an encouraging turn out and will enter the Kollam district of the state during the day after spending the last three days in Thiruvananthapuram district. The first phase of the day’s yatra is scheduled to halt at Chathannoor in Kollam and is expected to resume from there at 4.30 PM.
The march would halt for the day at Pallimukku junction in Kollam in the evening after which Gandhi is scheduled to hold a public meeting at nearby Madannada. On Tuesday, after that day’s yatra ended at Kallambalam junction here, Gandhi had questioned how a party which calls itself a representative of Hindus was allegedly spreading ‘ashanti’ in the country when the first words taught in Hinduism is ‘om shanti’.
“Wherever they are going they are destroying harmony, they are attacking people, they are dividing people, abusing them,” he had said. The third day of the Kerala leg of the yatra had gone ahead amid intermittent rains and swelling public turnout, with the Congress leader saying that even blisters will not stop their journey as he and scores of yatris marched along the streets without an umbrella when it rained.
The foot march will cover 12 states and two Union territories. The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered Kerala on September 10 evening, will traverse through the state covering 450 kilometres, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.