The BJP has asked all its MPs to carry out the yatra in their respective constituencies.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress on Wednesday set off on their separate “padayatra politics” on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi led a “padyatra” of a large number of party workers till Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat, while Union home minister Amit Shah flagged off the “Gandhi Sankalp Yatra” from Haiderpur in Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency in the national capital.
While Congress leaders across the country took part in the padyatra only for a day, as a mark of respect for the Father of The Nation, the BJP’s “Gandhi Sankalp Yatra” will continue for the next 15 days. The BJP has asked all its MPs to carry out the yatra in their respective constituencies.
Addressing the gathering at Haiderpur, Mr Shah appealed to people to follow Narendra Modi’s call to shun single-use plastic and said he is the only Prime Minister who has made cleanliness a mass movement, after Gandhi.
Mr Shah, who is also the BJP president, said that the party’s elected representatives will undertake the “padyatra” for a fortnight to take Mahatma Gandhi’s values and principles to the masses.
BJP MPs, MLAs, organisational leaders and other party members undertook two kilometers long padyatra and spoke about non-violence, peace, use of khadi and cleanliness in events held across the country.
In the run up to Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, Mr Modi had given a call to his party to make the day memorable and asked its leaders to organise events and padyatras to commemorate the day.
Rahul Gandhi led the Congress padyatra, preceded by a tableau of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and his iconic wooden spinning wheel mounted on a vehicle. Many Congress workers sported Mahatma Gandhi’s trademark spectacles. At Rajghat, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that the India of the last five years will shake the idea of India Mahatma Gandhi had. “It is easy to take the name of Gandhiji, but it is tough to follow his path. Those who are trying to use his name but are taking India away from his teachings will not succeed as India has Gandhi’s principles in its foundation,” she said.
Addressing workers, Mrs Gandhi said that some people are trying to make RSS a symbol of India and sideline Gandhi and those who are doing politics of mistruth will never understand Mahatma Gandhi. “Those who want to have absolute power will never understand Gandhi,” she added.
In Delhi, BJP working president J.P. Nadda participated in a yatra at Nazafgarh along with the area MP, Parvesh Verma, while defence minister Rajnath Singh participated in a “Swachtta hi Sewa” programme at Delhi Cantt with local MP Meenakshi Lekhi.