Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi started his 3,570 km padayatra on Thursday after hoisting the national flag at a makeshift camp on the grounds of Vivekananda technical institute, close to the Kanniyakumari beach.
For the next five months or so, Mr Gandhi and his 118 fellow travellers of Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), designated as Bharat yatris, would be on a mission to bridge social divisions, highlight issues like unemployment and inflation and start a dialogue with different sections of the society.
Described as the biggest mass mobilization exercise by the Congress in the post independent India, the principal Opposition party is also hoping that the padayatra is its route to political revival.
Why do you look everything in terms of political benefits. Is it not a fact that the society is more polarised now than ever before,”retorted Digvijaya Singh, national coordinator of the yatra, when asked about his party’s political calculation of the yatra.
Every day, the padayatra will take place in two phases — between 7am and 10:30am and again from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm — and cover about 22-25 kms on an average.