Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 14:05 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that as the Bharat Jodo Yatra reached Jammu and Kashmir, the party wants the statehood of J&K to be restored.
Addressing a press conference in Jammu, the Congress MP said, “We started this Yatra from Kanyakumari and now we have reached Jammu and Kashmir. We want statehood to be restored and assembly elections held in J&K.”
“Kashmiri pandits have raised their issues with me and I have assured them that we will raise their issue in the parliament,” he further said.
“Our focus is on the Yatra and the issues raised during this Yatra. The next course of action will be decided later,” he said, adding that the aim of the foot march has been to amplify the issues raised by common people.
Addressing Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on Sunday accusing Gandhi of spreading hate, he said, “I don’t know how this Yatra is harming the interests of India and defaming India abroad. The defamation is being done by BJP and RSS.”
“I don’t have hatred for anyone. This Yatra has been affectionate to everyone,” he said.
Distancing himself and the party from Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s remarks questioning the 2019 surgical strikes, he said, “I don’t agree with his statement, not does the Congress party. If the army does something, there is no need for proof.”
“He said a ridiculous thing. I am sorry to say this about a senior leader,” he said.
Asked about the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi, Gandhi said that the truth always comes out. “If you read our scriptures, if you read the Gita or Upanishads, it says that truth always comes out,” he said. “You can use CBI, ED, ban, but the truth is truth and has a nasty habit of coming out.”
The Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed from the garrison town of Nagrota in Jammu on Tuesday. Gandhi was joined by actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, noted author Perumal Murugan, J&K Pradesh Congress committee president Vikar Rasool Wani, his predecessor G A Mir and former minister Tariq Hamid Karra along with hundreds of other carrying the tricolor.
The yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, entered Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab on Thursday and reached Jammu city on Monday.
The march is scheduled to make two night halts at Ramban and Banihal along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway before its culmination in Srinagar with a grand rally at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium on January 30.
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