Bharat Jodo Yatra enters Andhra Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi pledges support to Polavaram oustees and Amaravati farmers

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh expresses hope that the Yatra will help in reviving the party in Andhra Pradesh.

BySNV Sudhir

Published Oct 18, 2022 | 10:50 PMUpdatedOct 18, 2022 | 11:09 PM

Amaravati farmers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 18 October, pledged his support to Amaravati farmers, who have been agitating against the YSRCP government’s move to create three capitals for Andhra Pradesh.

The farmers, who have given up their land for developing Amaravati as the only capital, have been protesting against the government move for the past more than 1,000 days.

The Lok Sabha member from Wayanad, Kerala, who is in Andhra Pradesh as part of his 3,750-kilometre Kanniyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra — or unite India march, also promised farmers the support of his party.

He met the farmers at Kurnool. Families, displaced by the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project, also met him. He promised to support their demand as well.

The Yatra entered Andhra Pradesh at Kurnool from Karnataka on Tuesday. It will cover the designated route in Andhra Pradesh in the next three days.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh expressed hoped that the Bharat Jodo Yatra would help revive the party in Andhra Pradesh.

“The current segment of the Yatra is of utmost importance to the Congress. This Yatra will signal the revival of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh,” Ramesh said.

Gandhi met the farmers — who poured out their woes — in the afternoon.

“I have been aware for some time that these are two central issues faced by the people of Andhra Pradesh. Unfortunately, we are not in power at the Centre. Otherwise, we would have fixed these problems. There are certain other commitments we have made, and we still stand by them. We will stand by you in these difficult times,” Gandhi assured them.

Rahul Gandhi

Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi in Kurnool as part of the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra (Supplied)

Fight against divisive ideology

He also addressed a public gathering at Chagi in Kurnool’s Adoni mandal.

“Thank you very much for coming here and walking with us today. I am very happy to be walking the streets of Andhra Pradesh. Today, I met many different people. I met farmers and laborers; I met my sisters and mothers. I am very very pleased with the response that the Yatra is getting,” he said.

Gandhi said that he took up the Yatra because his party has been fighting a hateful and divisive ideology being spread by the BJP.

“They are dividing the country, they are making brothers fight brothers, and they are spreading hate in the country. India is seeing the highest unemployment rate in the last 45 years and prices are rising,” he said.

“I met farmers, who are unable to make ends meet. Farmers, who are growing onions told me that they do not get the right price for their crop, and the whole system is designed to help two or three big players,” he added.

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Sake Sailajanath and other senior party leaders welcomed the Yatra to the state at Kurnool.

The five-month Bharat Jodo Yatra is part of the party’s national mass outreach programme aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.