'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is a "booster dose" for the Congress and a "decisive and transformational moment" for the politics of the country, senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said here on Friday.
The 3570-km 'padyatra' is being undertaken by Rahul Gandhi from Kanyakumari to Kashmir over five-and-a-half months to galvanise Congress cadres and strengthen the organisation, giving it new energy, Ramesh along with his Rajya Sabha colleague Digvijay Singh said at a press conference.
"The yatra is a booster dose for the Congress and a decisive and transformational moment for the politics of the country. Workers will reach out to people at block, district and state level, thus enhancing the organisational strength of the Congress," he said.
Hitting out at Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over his remark that India was already united and there was no need to reunite it by undertaking a yatra, Ramesh said, "I want to tell him that the country is breaking for three reasons primarily -- economic inequalities, social polarisation and political autocracy."
He alleged that price-rise, unemployment, GST imposition on staple food products and other economic policies of the BJP-led Centre have led to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.
On the political front, "constitutional offices are being weakened, the rights of the states curtailed", with the "autocratic ways of the prime minister and the Union home minister leading to divisive politics", he said.
Asked about Congress leaders leaving the party, the Rajya Sabha member said that these can be classified into two categories -- the first are those who took everything from the party for 30-40 years and then left for their selfish reasons.
"The second are those who need the BJP washing machine to clean stains (corruption charges) to survive in politics. The Assam chief minister falls in this category," the Congress leader alleged.
"He was with us for some years and before that with 'tukde tukde' organisations. It was late chief minister Hiteswar Saikia who saved him. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others," the former Union minister stated.
Asked about the pending elections for the post of Congress president, he said that the grand old party was the only one in the country which allows such polls and any member to contest it.
Referring to the yatra, the AICC general secretary in-charge of communication, publicity and media said that the route from Kanyakumari to Kashmir was zeroed upon after taking into consideration security and geographical aspects.
The 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', led by Rahul Gandhi, is set to cover 12 states with the average age of the participants being 38. In Assam, the yatra will begin on November 1 -- from Dhubri in the West to Sadiya in the east – with several local and national leaders undertaking it, he added. "Next year, we may plan a Yatra from Porbandar in the west to Parshuram Kund in the east, depending on the outcome of this present one," Ramesh added.
(With PTI Inputs)