Rahul yatra: After Sarma, Mamata makes it more difficult - The Tribune India

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Rahul yatra

After Sarma, Mamata makes it more difficult

Rahul yatra

RAHUL Gandhi’s Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, which ended on January 30 last year, witnessed constant sparring — both political and personal — between the Congress and the BJP. - File photo



RAHUL Gandhi’s Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, which ended on January 30 last year, witnessed constant sparring — both political and personal — between the Congress and the BJP. It was not limited to social media and TV debates. At one point, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Gandhi, with his scraggly grey beard, had started looking like the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The Congress responded that Sarma sounded like a troll. Now one can sense heightened bitterness between the former party colleagues during the Assam leg of Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Personal egos seem to have got the better of both. Gandhi called Sarma, who shifted to the BJP in 2015 and is credited for its rapid expansion in the region, the country’s most corrupt CM. The former Congress chief has been booked on the charge of provoking the crowd at an event in Guwahati. Sarma has threatened to have him arrested after the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress’ last major public outreach programme before the elections, the Manipur-Mumbai yatra intends to cover 100 Lok Sabha seats before it ends on March 20. Starting it in violence-ridden Manipur was astute. The message from Assam perhaps got lost in the slugfest. Gandhi faces less in-your-face antagonism but a far more politically challenging journey as his march enters West Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has made clear the TMC’s intention to go solo for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. This has put paid to the seat-sharing plans of the 28-party INDIA bloc. Mamata’s tough stand against the Congress is bound to overshadow Gandhi’s yatra.

Political alignments need delicate nurturing, and tough posturing is part of the process. Gandhi’s negotiating and conciliatory skills are on test. The primary task for now is ‘INDIA jodo’. 

#Assam #Bharat #Bharat Jodo Yatra #BJP #Congress #Kashmir #Rahul Gandhi #Social Media


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