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Can Rahul Gandhi Save Congress With Bharat Jodo Karnataka Yatra Amid Crisis In Rajasthan?

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Rahul Gandhi will set foot in the BJP-ruled state of Karnataka on September 30 as part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir amid the Congress government crisis in Rajasthan. He will enter through Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district and will be welcomed by top state congress leaders.

Some pundits say Rahul’s Karnataka Yatra would be quite a “walking tightrope”, with the chaos in Rajasthan’s government overshadowing the party’s political campaign.

Let’s see what the game plan looks like:

Rahul’s Karnataka Route

Rahul is entering Karnataka from the Ooty-Calicut junction in Gundlupet Chamarajanagar and is expected to stop for the night in Begur in the district.

The working president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), R Dhruvanarayana, who will also coordinate the Mysuru trajectory, said the party has planned interactions between Rahul Gandhi and members of civil society, small-scale entrepreneurs, business people, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Workers Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and members of Soliga tribe living in Chamarajanagar region, among others,” Dhruvanarayana told News18.

While Rahul continues his Padyatra on the second day, he heads towards Mysore district and stays overnight in Thandavapura village to resume his walk to the Khadi Gramodyog Kendra at Badanavalu in Nanjangud taluk of Mysuru district on Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October . scheduled to spend the first half of the day in the center, which, according to congress leaders, was visited twice by Mahatma Gandhi — in 1927 and in 1932 — and run by his staunch follower Tagadur Ramachandra Rao.

The Padyatra ends in the city of Mysore where the leader is expected to meet and interact with people while the party members camp in the fairgrounds opposite the famous Mysore Palace.

Mysore was chosen for the Padyatra because it is the largest city in the state. It is also decorated to celebrate the royal style Dasara festival and Rahul is likely to participate in it, a congress leader confirmed.

In Mysuru, a meeting with civil society members has been organized by well-known and highly regarded literary voices in Karnataka Devanur Mahadeva. Mahadeva is an outspoken critic of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and recently wrote and published ‘RSS: Aala Mattu Agala’ (RSS: It’s Depth and Width).

Under the banner of Samajwadi Vedike for the Bharat Jodo Yatra, hundreds of organizations in Karnataka have lent their support to the yatra and are expected to participate in the campaign led by Prakash Kammardi, a retired professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru.

From October 3-6, Rahul will be in Karnataka’s Mandya district, the heart of the second largest community of Vokkaligas, and the bastion of Deve Gowda and his political family. A senior leader admitted Congress will try to reclaim the Mandya, which was once the main seat. Contributions related to farmers, education and unemployment will also be discussed with the local population and leaders.

The padayatra continues towards Tumakuru, Sira and Chitradurga towards Ballari after which it continues towards Telangana.

Bringing people closer

Ballari Senior Congress Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Syed Naseer Hussain emphasizes that the Padayatra is an attempt to reconnect with the people of India. Hussain calls it a concerted effort to bring back an ideal India, which is a celebration and appreciation for the diversity in the country, adding that Rahul Gandhi is reviving that connection that people seem to have lost.

“The Constitution of India gives all citizens the right to live with equality, freedom and dignity. All this is snatched away by a bunch of people in power. We must reclaim our constitution and rescue our people from the clutches of a dictatorial government that benefits the few,” Hussain told News18.

He also said that institutions such as the Election Commission, the Judiciary, the UPSC, the Central Research Bureau, the Enforcement Directorate and IT should not be misused by the government to target certain people in the country who do not believe in what the government is doing. is doing. “They need to regain their autonomy,” he adds.

While the Congress says the response to the Padyatra in Tamil Nadu and Kerala has been unprecedented, their counterparts in Karnataka are all set to use Rahul’s presence for 22 days ahead of the 2023 parliamentary elections.

DK Shivakumar, head of the Karnataka Congress, who has reportedly urged Rahul to take over as the party’s national president, said he and the Bharat Jodo Yatra have highlighted the plight of ordinary people and how they are cheated by the ruling government in the Center and the state. “He is raising his voice against price hikes, high levels of corruption, unemployment and the plight of our farmers, while bringing the country together with peace,” Shivakumar told News18.

A show of unity within the state congress?

Political commentator Sandeep Shastri said Rahul reached Karnataka at a time when the Congress government crisis in Rajasthan raises a question about the high command’s ability to keep the party under control.

“If the stalemate in Rajasthan continues, it could overshadow the entire yatra, especially when it is in a BJP-ruled state,” Shastri said.

He also adds that if the birthday celebrations of the former chief minister of Congress Siddaramaiah were the launch of the Congress election campaign in the state, the Bharat Jodo Yatra can be seen as the second phase of their campaign. Gandhi is not only entering a state ruled by the BJP, but he is also entering a state that will soon go to the polls where there will be a direct confrontation between the BJP and Congress, the political expert says.

“Will the Yatra show unity within the Karnataka Congress? How will Rahul Gandhi deal with the delicate balance between leaders and the treatment of leaders, an issue that has been a rollercoaster for them in Rajasthan? How does he bring the state leadership together without favorites? Some of the questions to be answered make this Yatra important,” explains Shastri.

Dakshin Kannada Not on Yatra Schedule

One region that the Padyatra does not pass through is southern Karnataka, which has already been addressed by the BJP. They say Congress fears they will face an embarrassing turnout in the region that has “expelled” the party from its bottom.

“They don’t get anywhere in the Dakshina Kannada region because they know they will be driven out by their people. Rahul Gandhi asks all the places where he wants the Congress to be decimated. Dakshin Kannada has already rejected them, so they don’t dare go there,” BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi told News18.

Shastri pointed out that Rahul travels to those areas where Congress’ opportunities to do well are more visible.

Senior Congress Leader Priyank Kharge said Dakshin Kannada region was not on the schedule as India is a large country and Rahul Gandhi has to cover the longitude and latitude within a certain amount of time.

“It is a Bharat Jodo Yatra, not just a Karnataka Jodo Yatra. Rahul Gandhi ji has to travel long distances and the Padyatra rail has been mapped accordingly to ensure maximum range and coverage,” he added.

Sonia and Priyanka join Rahul

While the dates are yet to be determined, congressional sources confirm that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are expected to join the yatra either in the Chamarajanagar-Mysore trajectory or in the Ballari region.

Sonia Gandhi will attend a public rally in Ballari, the seat that came into the national spotlight when a high-voltage election was fought between her and BJP’s Sushma Swaraj in 1999. Once considered a congressional citadel since the first general election in 1952, Sonia had contested from Amethi and Bellary (now called Ballari), beating Swaraj by 56,000 votes.

Several invitations have been made to Priyanka Gandhi to participate in the Lok Sabha elections from Karnataka, as have her mother and grandmother, but she has not yet accepted that call. However, she is supposed to interact with women in Nagamangala in Mandya district and also hold a few corner meetings.

Interestingly, if polls are needed to elect the congressional president, Rahul Gandhi is expected to vote in Bengaluru on October 17.

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