Assam’s political stand off: access denied to Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra

 “Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra Faces Hurdles: A Political Standoff in Assam due to Pran Pratishtha event”

Rahul Gandhi journey to justice : understanding “Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,” meaning ‘India Unity and Justice March,

“Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,” meaning ‘India Unity and Justice March,’ is a current movement led by the leader of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi. This journey began on January 14, 2024, from Thoubal in Manipur and will conclude on March 20, 2024, in Mumbai. The march covers a long distance from east to west across India.”

This cross-country journey  started in Manipur and will end in Mumbai on March 20, covering 6,713 km across 15 states. Rahul Gandhi plans to walk a few kilometers each day to connect with people, and the rest of the distance will be covered by bus.

The yatra spends 11 days in the northeast, which used to be a Congress stronghold but is now dominated by the BJP. It covers nearly 900 km in Assam, a state the Congress lost to the BJP in 2016 after ruling for 15 years. In Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi will talk about social justice, focusing on Other Backward Classes (OBC) and the demand for a caste census. While the BJP is focused on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Congress is using social justice as a counter.

The yatra aims to draw attention to issues like inflation, job scarcity, and the alleged neglect of social groups like Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, and minorities. Rahul Gandhi wants to distance the yatra from immediate election plans and see it as an ideological challenge to the BJP. However, elections are also a test of ideologies, and Rahul Gandhi needs to reinforce his position as a strong opponent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The big question is whether he can successfully cover that distance.

Recent hurdle in “yatra”:A Political Standoff in Assam”

The Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, encountered a significant hurdle  during its journey to Batadrava Than in Assam’s Nagaon district. The scheduled visit to the birthplace of revered Vaishnavite reformer-saint Srimanta Sankardeva faced delays and disruptions, leading to a notable political standoff.

Blockades: On Monday morning, the yatra, which had departed from its night halt camp in Nagaon’s Rupahi, faced barricades and a police blockade on its way to Batadrava Than. The Congress had planned a morning visit to this sacred site, crucial for Assamese Vaishnavites. However, the convoy, led by Rahul Gandhi, came to a standstill, leading to a halt lasting over two hours.

Rahul Gandhi sat on ground with supporters:  The political significance of this event became apparent as Rahul Gandhi, along with his supporters, sat on the ground surrounded by barricades. Supporters sang ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ in unison, emphasizing the symbolic nature of the standoff.

Access Denied due Pran Pratishtha event : AICC leader Jairam Ramesh clarified that the original plan was for Rahul to visit Batadrava Than, but only two Assam leaders were allowed to enter. The yatra was decided to resume after their return. The Than management committee had communicated earlier that Rahul’s entry was restricted due to a large gathering expected in the morning for the pran pratishtha at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Political Statements: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking earlier in the day, suggested that Rahul should visit Batadrava Than after the Ayodhya program, expressing concern about creating unnecessary competition between the two events. The political narrative seemed to shift from a logistical issue to a possible political competition between the Ram Mandir event and Rahul’s visit to Batadrava Than.

The unexpected hurdles in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra have added a layer of political complexity to the ongoing journey to justice led by Rahul Gandhi. As the yatra faces challenges, it prompts a closer examination of the political dynamics at play in Assam, with implications for the larger political landscape in the region.