IMPHAL- The Manipur government refused permission to party leader Rahul Gandhi to launch his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which begins January 14, from the state capital Imphal’s Palace Ground over security concerns.
State unit leaders were looking for a new location in Imphal and were also in touch with the government to ensure that no other “hurdles” were created, the party said on January 10.
“The yatra is not political and the party had no intention to politicise Manipur issue. We assured the state government as well but it denied to hold any gathering at Palace Ground in Imphal.
We are committed to starting our march from Imphal and the new location is being identified,” Congress’ general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, who is an aide of Gandhi, said.
A day earlier, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said the Congress’ request was being looked into in consultation with security agencies.
The Northeastern state was hit by a wave of ethnic violence in mid-2023. Though the situation has improved sporadic incidents of violence continue to be reported.
Earlier in the day, the Congress unveiled the “vision document” and launched the website for the yatra, detailing the route and schedule of the march, which comes almost a year after the first one ended.
The yatra will continue for 66 days, starting from Manipur on January 14 and ending in Mumbai on March 20. It will pass through 110 districts of 15 states and cover a distance of 6,713 kilometers.
The party plans to focus on three major issues — economic justice, social justice, and political justice.