Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is unlikely to take part in the Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra in Uttar Pradesh, an SP leader said on Tuesday, while other non-BJP leaders who have also been invited are yet to take a call. Congress has said it has invited several leaders of non-BJP parties, including Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati and RLD's Jayant Chaudhary, to take part in the Uttar Pradesh leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra from January 3.
However, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and ally RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary are unlikely to participate in the Yatra due to "preoccupation" with their party programmes, their party leaders said. "The schedule of SP president Akhilesh Yadav related to party programmes has already been decided and he is unlikely to attend the yatra," SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI. There had also been no discussion in this regard in the party, Chaudhary said when asked if any other leader of the party would be participating in the yatra.
In a similar vein, RLD chief spokesman Anil Dubey said,"I do not think that Jayantji will be going for the yatra." He is preoccupied with party programmes which have already been planned, Dubey said, adding that the decision on whether any other leader of the party will participate in the Yatra will be taken by the party president.
The BSP is still waiting for the Congress invitation for the yatra and any call on participation in it will be taken by party president Mayawati, a senior BSP leader said on condition of anonymity. Nevertheless, BSP MP from Jaunpur Shyam Singh Yadav was present in the yatra in Delhi, walking alongside Rahul Gandhi for three hours "but in what capacity is not known", he said.
Another invitee SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar said that he got a phone call from Salman Khurshid but has yet to get a formal letter of invitation. "We will decide the matter after talking to party members by December 30 whether to participate in it or not," Rajbhar said.
Former deputy chief minister and a senior BJP leader Dinesh Sharma, who has also been extended an invitation in his capacity as a professor at Lucknow University said, "the real work for "Bharat jodo' is being done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "I exhort the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to contribute to Narendra Modi's 'Bharat jodo" campaign," Sharma told PTI.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Congress on Tuesday released the route map of the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in the state which will enter Ghaziabad's Loni area on January 3 and travel to Haryana via Shamli's Kairana. The next day, the yatra will reach Mavi Kalan in Baghpat and pass through Baghpat city and Sisana, Sarurpur and Barot in the same district. On January 5, the yatra will reach Alam in Shamli district and pass through Kandhla, Uncha village and Kairana.
Kairana falls in a communally sensitive region and the alleged exodus of Hindu families from the area became a major election issue in the 2017 assembly elections and was again raised by the BJP in the state polls early this year. The Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in September this year, will now be entering the state where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in-charge of the party's Uttar Pradesh unit, will accompany former party president Rahul Gandhi.