‘We want to listen to your Mann ki Baat… your pain’: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

“We don’t want to tell you about our ‘mann ki baat’ but to hear about your ‘mann ki baat’. We want to know about your pain. We want to share a vision of brotherhood and harmony,” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday said while addressing a large gathering at Khongjom (Manipur) for the second leg of the Congress’s nationwide campaign, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in the city which was has been roiled by ethnic clashes since May last year.

Attacking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the senior Congress leader said, “Lakhs were affected, and people got killed in front of family members. But the Prime Minister hasn’t visited Manipur to erase your tears, to embrace you. Maybe for him, Manipur is not a part of India, and your pain is not his pain.” 

Gandhi said that Manipur is an example of the politics of hatred and ideology spread by BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He assured that Congress will strive to bring back harmony and peace to Manipur.

Elaborating on the decision to name the second leg of his nationwide campaign Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the Congress leader said the ‘nyay’ (justice), is to highlight the social, economic and political injustices happening in the country at present. He said that the purpose of the visit was to listen to the problems faced by people from all sections.

“We don’t want to tell you about our ‘mann ki baat’ but to hear about your ‘mann ki baat’. We want to know about your pain. We want to share a vision of brotherhood and harmony,” he said.

It was the second visit by the Congress leader as he had visited the state in June last year during the ethnic clashes. 

“I had come to Manipur on June 29 last year and what I saw and heard then, I had never heard or seen. I have been in politics since 2004. But it was the first time I saw a collapse of governance in a state. Manipur is now divided with hatred spread in every corner,” Gandhi said.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, who also attended the party campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections besides chief ministers of several Congress-ruled states and former Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh, said, “Ours is a long journey. I think such a yatra never took place in the past and will not take place in future. Modi comes to Manipur to seek votes, but when people of the state are in trouble, he is vacationing on the beaches and doing religious tasks in the name of Ram.” 

The Congress president, during his address, also reminded how Rahul Gandhi visited the state in June last year.

Earlier today Gandhi, who arrived in Imphal on a chartered flight from Delhi with many senior Congress leaders, started his yatra with floral tributes paid at the Khongjom War Memorial for the slain heroes of the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891.

This was followed by a big rally at a private ground in Khongjom where Gandhi addressed a large gathering. The second phase of last year’s South to North Bharat Jodo Yatra will traverse around 6,700 km and move through 15 states from East to West India and culminate in Mumbai on March 20.

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Published: 14 Jan 2024, 07:34 PM IST

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