The Congress on Friday announced it will conduct a three-day ‘yatra’ to commemorate Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat, who died recently in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, from his village in Uttarakhand on his ‘terahvi’.
The ‘yatra’ will begin from either December 20 or 21, whichever day happens to be the ‘terahvi’, the day that marks the end of the mourning period in many Hindu families. The three-day campaign will be launched by Pradesh Congress Committee president Ganesh Godiyal from Rawat's village, Congress campaign head for Uttarakhand Harish Rawat said at a press conference here.
Congress leader and former state assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal will launch another ‘yatra’ -- part of the same initiative -- on the same day from the village of the first army chief from Uttarakhand General BC Joshi in Kumaon.
The procession - named ‘Veer Gram Parikrama Yatra’ -- will cover villages of all martyrs who died fighting for the country's freedom or during the agitation for a separate Uttarakhand or defending the country's borders, Rawat said.
The BJP had on Thursday accused the Congress of using the photograph of Gen Bipin Rawat for “purely political reasons” ahead of elections, and had asked it to explain why one of its leaders had once described him as a "roadside hooligan".
Rawat on the other hand described Rahul Gandhi's rally at the Parade Ground here as a big success. He said by honouring war veterans and martyrs, the Congress leader had deepened the ties Uttarakhand has had for years with the Gandhi family.
"Indira Gandhi's mother Kamla Nehru was at a sanatorium here, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was lodged in a jail here. Our ties with the family are very old and they have been further deepened after yesterday's rally," Rawat said.
The former Uttarakhand chief minister said he will also launch a campaign named "Bhajpai dhol ki pol khol" from Moonakot in Pithoragarh district from Dec 19 to expose the failures of the state government as reflected in the Kumbh testing scam and “shoddy” handling of the religious congregation. The massive Kumbh event was alleged by many to be responsible for the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the Congress' poll manifesto for the state will be drafted as envisioned by Rahul Gandhi with emphasis on employment for youths, and empowerment of women, weaker sections and the minorities.
-With PTI Inputs