CPM slams Rahul’s Yatra, Congress says silly criticism from BJP’s A team in Kerala

Jairam Ramesh (right) hit back at CPM's tweet against Bharat Jodo Yatra asking the Left party to do its homework better. Photos: Twitter/CPIMSPEAK, PTI

New Delhi: The CPM and the Congress engaged in a war of words over the ‘Bharat Jdo Yatra’ on Monday as the nation-wide foot-march led by Rahul Gandhi entered its second day in the state.

The CPM on Monday slammed the Congress for covering the Left-ruled Kerala in 18 days while spending just two days in the BJP fortress of Uttar Pradesh.

The CPM tweeted a caricature of Rahul Gandhi with the caption saying if he was leading a "Bharat Jodo" or "Seat Jodo" campaign. "18 days in Kerala...2 days in UP. Strange way to fight BJP-RSS," read the text.

The photo also carried maps of Kerala and Uttar Pradesh illustrating the difference in their size.

The Congress replied promptly calling the CPM the "A team" of the BJP in Kerala.

Responding to the tweet, Jairam Ramesh, Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications, said, "Do your homework better on how and why yatra was planned the way it is. And silly criticism from a party that is the A team of BJP in the land of MunduModi."

Jairam was referring to CPM strongman and two-time chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan as Modi clad in mundu. Congress supporters celebrated the response on social media while a number of Twitter users reminded Ramesh that the party he called ‘A’ team of BJP was the Congress’ partner in West Bengal in the previous polls.

The CPM’s criticism came after party state secretariat member M Swaraj ridiculed it calling a ‘container yatra’. In a video commentary on social media, Swaraj alleged that the itinerary of the march has been prepared by omitting states where BJP is strong. “The march covers 12 states. BJP is not a strong player in seven of them. I also heard that the march spends the maximum days in Kerala where BJP is even struggling to stand on its own,” Swaraj said. He called Bharat Jodo Yatra a container yatra making fun of the containers arranged for the participants to sleep over.

Pro-Congress social media handles have questioned the claims made by the CPM. They said the march has been scheduled to spend maximum days in Karnataka where the Congress is contesting BJP face-to-face. They also cited the fact that BJP has nearly 200 MP s from the 12 states covered in the yatra.

The Congress party's Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the second day in Kerala on Monday, amid an encouraging turnout of people who have been lining up the streets of the state in thousands to extend support to Rahul Gandhi who has embarked on the 3,500 km Kanyakumari-Kashmir foot march.

The 150-day yatra was launched from Kanyakumari in neighbouring Tamil Nadu on September 7.

Gandhi commenced his walk from Vellayani junction here on Monday morning.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered Kerala on Saturday evening, will traverse through the state covering 450 kilometres, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.

On Sunday, when the day's yatra ended at Nemom here, Gandhi had said Kerala respects everyone and does not allow itself to be divided or hatred to spread, and that the Bharat Jodo Yatra, in a sense, was an extension of these ideas.

The yatra will cover 12 states and two Union territories, and a distance of 3,570 km from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Jammu and Kashmir over a period of 150 days. There will be mega rallies in 22 major cities.

(With inputs from PTI)

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