The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh have declined the invitation from the Congress party for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which commences in the state on January 3. The two parties were previously allied to the Congress.
While Akhilesh Yadav evaded a direct response to questions on whether he will accept the Congress’ invitation, party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told The Indian Express it was “unlikely”, adding that the SP chief has “party programmes lined up” and that the party has not received any formal invitation yet.
The Congress has invited several political parties to join their Bharat Jodo Yatra, though the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have declined the invitation.
Jayant Chaudhary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to has expressed his inability to participate due to prior engagements. It is speculated that the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) led by Om Prakash Rajbhar and SP MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav are likely to take the same stance as the SP. There is still no clarity regarding the participation of these parties in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“Humari bhavna hai ki Bharat jodo, humari bhavna hai uske saath. Lekin sawal yeh hai ki BJP hatayega kaun?” Akhilesh said in response to a question about joining the Yatra.
For the concluding leg of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, he will be arriving in Jammu and Kashmir. This 3000+ km journey that began on September 7th has received much backing from political bigwigs in the state, such as the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party.
The Yatra is expected to be joined in its final stretch by former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. This stands in stark contrast to the situation in Uttar Pradesh, from which the Yatra has passed.
Venugopal expressed his joy at the news that Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Yousuf Tarigam (CPI-M leader) are all joining the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is being organized by Rahul Gandhi. He noted that this was a proud moment for everyone who does not support the divisive politics of the BJP and the Union government.
This sentiment was echoed by Mehbooba Mufti, who tweeted that she was proud to be invited and to stand with Rahul Gandhi’s indomitable courage to challenge the ‘fascist forces’. She concluded by expressing her hopes for a better India through the march.
Notably, Mufti, a fierce critic of the BJP’s Kashmir policy, has been supportive of the Bharat Jodo Yatra. “For us, it is beyond politics, beyond political partisanship,” PDP leader Naeem Akhtar.
As the 2023 elections in Jammu and Kashmir draw near, the bond between the former alliance partners may no longer be relevant. While Congress and NC may be willing to join forces, any alliance with the PDP, which has been vocal in its disapproval of the revocation of Article 370, could be a detriment to their vote share in Jammu.
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