A video of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath purportedly speaking about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s insistence on walking at least 24 kilometers daily as part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and how they were drained because of it has gone viral on social media.
Nath is purportedly heard telling preacher Pandit Pradeep Mishra in the video that they have been walking during the Madhya Pradesh leg of the yatra for seven days. “The journey starts at 6am in the morning.” He also referred to their visits to Hindu religious sites.
Mishra is heard appreciating the yatra. “It is true that walking so much, meeting everyone, be it an ordinary person or an influential person is a kind of Tapasya [devotion].”
Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra jibed the Congress over Nath’s comments. “Your pain is natural.” He hit out at Gandhi, saying his hypocrisy towards religion is becoming clear from Nath’s words. “I request Rahul Gandhi that people who are physically unwell should not be forced to walk in such a way that they have to talk about death. May this event of yours not prove to be harmful to anyone.”
Vishwas Sarang, another state minister, said the reality that Congressmen were being forced to participate in yatra has now come to the fore.
Congress leader KK Mishra hit back at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying people, who travel in private and air force helicopters and planes, will not realise the hard work involved in walking 2100 km. “BJP leaders can do only politics without understanding the meaning of the conversation.”
Gandhi’s Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra is Congress’s biggest public outreach in years. The yatra this month began in Madhya Pradesh, where Congress won the 2018 assembly polls before Nath was forced to step down following a rebellion of lawmakers in 2020. The polls are due in the state next year.