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HomeIndiaWhy Karnataka will be acid test for Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra...

Why Karnataka will be acid test for Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra | India News

NEW DELHI: Of the 12 states and two Union Territories (UTs) that the 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) being led by party leader Rahul Gandhi will cover in 150 days, it has already traversed nine states and one UT. But it would be only Karnataka where the real test of the yatra would take place.
The yatra, which was flagged off at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, has passed through 46 districts in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana so far. It reached Delhi on December 24 and, after a nine-day break from the next day, it will resume its journey on the 109th day on January 3.
The yatra will be in Uttar Pradesh from January 3 to 5, in Haryana again from January 6 to 10, in Punjab from January 11 to 20, in Himachal Pradesh on January 19 and in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from January 20 to 30.
The yatra will culminate in Srinagar with a flag-hoisting event on January 30, the 75th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Ever since the yatra has been launched, all senior Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh had been saying that it is not related to elections – either assembly or parliamentary.
Congress’s new stand on BJY vis-a-vis elections
However, they tweaked their stand after the Congress’s victory in the recently-held Himachal Pradesh assembly election. They attributed the party’s win, among other factors, also to the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
They chose to ignore the BJP’s historic victory in Gujarat though. Rahul Gandhi did not even campaign in Himachal Pradesh though he addressed two election rallies – in Rajkot and Surat – on one day in Gujarat.
For the first time on Monday, the party officially admitted that the yatra’s “major achievement was to unite India”, it would have an impact on elections and that it would benefit from the exercise.
Talking to media persons in Delhi, Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal said, “We did not start this as a political yatra. Basically the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi himself said this yatra is beyond politics. We are taking up issues of the country like unemployment, price rise and divisive politics of the BJP. These are the main slogans of this yatra. But certainly this will become a political movement.”
Venugopal also said, “Certainly every programme will have an impact on a political party. But obviously this programme is one of the biggest programmes which the Congress party or any other political party has done in this country. There will definitely be electoral impact also. But our motive is not to make electoral impact through this yatra. But naturally the party will be benefitted out of it.”
BJY’s litmus test in Karnataka
Of the 12 states and two UTs to be covered by BJY by January 30, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana will go to polls in 2024.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala will face assembly elections in 2026. Polls would be held in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in early 2027. Himachal Pradesh will witness election almost five years later in November 2027.
Four states of Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Rajasthan will go to polls this year.
However, assembly election in Karnataka would likely be held in May this year while that in Telangana, MP and Rajasthan in November-December.
Jammu and Kashmir may also go to polls along with Karnataka. But that is under the realm of conjecture.
Therefore, Karnataka would be the first state from where the Bharat Jodo Yatra had passed and which would face election. Jammu and Kashmir might be the other one.
The real test of BJY will, therefore, be visible in Karnataka.



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