Malappuram: The final leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, finished at Vazhikkadavu here on Thursday. The procession, which entered Kerala on September 10, explored the State for 18 days. Alongside Rahul, senior party leaders like Jairam Ramesh and Digvijaya Singh thanked KPCC, UDF leaders, party workers and others for their support. The march will resume from Tamil Nadu soon.
Rahul Gandhi, who is the MP of Wayanad, tweeted on Thursday morning, “"Home is where you get love, and Kerala is home for me. No matter how much affection I give, I always get more in return from the people here. I am forever indebted. Thank you.
"I would also like to wholeheartedly thank the Congress & UDF leaders and workers, Kerala police, media personnel & every individual who has been part of the #BharatJodoYatra in this beautiful state. The support you have given us makes our resolve firmer & our strides stronger.”
'The people distracted my from my knee problems'
Rahul has said he was experiencing knee problems during the foot march, but he was distracted from the pain when members of the public approached him and discussed various issues as the journey progressed. Gandhi revealed this during his candid conversation with Congress leaders of the southern state on Wednesday in Wandoor in Malappuram district.
Gandhi said on Wednesday he was having a "really tough time," but suddenly a girl came up to him and gave a letter, which read, "With hardship, there has to be ease". "So suddenly I was thinking hardship, hardship, hardship, she gave me the letter and it is written hardship has to be eased out. ...I always found that every time I am having trouble somebody from the public or somebody from here (Congress leaders) is coming and pulling me out of the trouble", he said.
What Rahul said about Kerala
According to him, women in Kerala are not insecure and they are quite confident and they have quite a powerful role in society. "Women are quite confident, aware---they are not insecure. They have quite a powerful role in society, I felt", Gandhi told Kerala leaders.
"I noticed that if you go in towns, mostly you will find local businesses--all these smaller, medium businesses, they are having problems", he said.
He said the state's agri sector is also not in a good shape. Gandhi said he has realised that the environment is central to politics in the southern state because of the small land area and a large population.
"Congress in Kerala is in safe hands", Gandhi said and urged the leadership to bring more women into the senior level of the party. He also urged the state leadership to think about how the youngsters, tribals and dalits can be attracted to the party.
During the conversation, Gandhi also expressed happiness for their efforts that made the yatra a 'success.' "Together we should also thank the people of Kerala who have made it possible and successful", Gandhi told his party colleagues in Kerala.
Congress leaders from Kerala including AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan and other senior leaders including Ramesh Chennithala, K Muraleedharan and MM Hassan also participated in the conversation.
Senior Congress leader and national coordinator of the yatra, Digvijaya Singh tweeted, "All PCCs in other States should come and learn the organisational work of Kerala PCC. Finally a Big Thank You to the People of Kerala and all Congressmen of Kerala for their tremendous support and response. #BharatJodoYatra @INCKerala @INCIndia @Jairam_Ramesh."
He also added that "Today we leave Kerala after 22 days of warm hospitality of PCC Kerala. The tremendous response of the people of Kerala was most encouraging. All our Bharat Yatris loved the lovely green terrain and also enjoyed the Boat Race. Thank you PCC President K Sudhakaran ji and our most active State Coordinator K Suresh ji for responding to all our requests.”
Rahul Gandhi will now travel to Government Arts and Science College at Gudalur in Tamil Nadu by car as the route goes through a forest reserve and it is not possible to go on foot there, Congress party sources said.
The march would resume from Government Arts and Science College at Gudalur around 5 PM and halt for the day at Gudalur Bus Stand after covering around 5.5 km.
The 3,570 km and 150-day-long foot march started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With inputs from PTI)