Just as a child goes out for a walk when exams come, similarly Rahul Gandhi has gone out for a walk when elections come.

There is a saying in Punjabi – ‘Buhe Aayi Janna, Vinno Kudi De Kann’ which means piercing the ears of a girl when the wedding procession arrives at the door, in simple words doing untimely work. Its equivalent saying in Hindi is ‘Seeing lice at the time of rounds’, this is what seems to be happening with Congress these days, general elections are round the corner and the party is busy in the Nyaya Yatra. In school language, going on an educational tour at the time of final exams. It is being seen that in this journey, not only the Congress but also the ‘Indie alliance’ which has not even reached the embryonic stage is seen wandering and taking setbacks.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s second visit began from Manipur on January 14 and will conclude in Mumbai on March 20. Taking place just before the Lok Sabha elections, this yatra will pass through 110 districts and 100 Lok Sabha constituencies of 15 states of the country to cover a distance of 6713 kilometers in 67 days. This is Rahul Gandhi’s second visit. Earlier, he had taken out Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari on September 7, 2022 and concluded in Kashmir on January 30, 2023. In that journey of 136 days, a journey of more than four thousand kilometers was covered passing through 75 districts and 76 Lok Sabha constituencies of 12 states and two union territories. The first journey was on foot, whereas in the Nyaya Yatra, the remaining journey will be covered by walking eight to ten kilometers every day and in special vehicles. The political assessment of this new visit of Rahul can be made only after the Lok Sabha elections, but looking at the first visit from one perspective, its results were mixed. While Congress won the Karnataka and Telangana assembly elections, it had to face a crushing defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Congress is confident that this time the Nyay Yatra will prove to be transformative. A major incident that has happened between these two visits of Rahul Gandhi is that more than two dozen opposition parties have come together and formed a new ‘Indi alliance’. But this time the timing of the yatra may prove to be the biggest mistake. At the time of the first yatra, assembly elections were to be held only in some states of the country, but now at the time of this yatra, general elections are to be held, which is a matter of life and death for every political party. Are considered questions. Right now the biggest question is arising regarding the timing of Nyay Yatra. By the time this yatra concludes in the second fortnight of March, perhaps the Lok Sabha election programs in the country would have been announced or would be about to take place. In such a situation, the months of February and March are important times for Congress in terms of preparations for the Lok Sabha elections. At such a time, if the entire energy of the party is devoted only to organizing the Yatra and fighting the controversies related to it, it would be like committing political suicide.

Not only Congress seems to be getting lost in the journey, the ‘Indi alliance’ also seems to be getting lost and suffering setbacks which has not even reached the embryonic stage. Everyone knows that the Chief Minister of West Bengal has sung the song of ‘Ekla Chalo’, while the country’s new but very ambitious Aam Aadmi Party has almost refused to compromise with the Congress in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The biggest blow to the ‘Indi alliance’ has been given by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who till yesterday was considering himself the convener of this alliance and now he has turned to the BJP. Not only this, doubts are beginning to arise among other parties of the alliance about its future.

The month of February has started, for the success of ‘Indi Gathjod’, the name of the convenor should have been decided by now and the negotiations on seat distribution should have been completed, but for the Congress, this task still seems very far away. The alleged stone pelting on Rahul Gandhi’s visit in Bengal, which is still considered an ally of the ‘Indi alliance’, Trinamool Congress, shows that the alliance’s allies were neither taken into confidence nor had their consent for this visit. Cooperation was sought. Even in such a miserable situation, the ego of the Congress does not seem to have gone away, it feels that it is the only party in the alliance which has a nationwide presence. That’s why our potential allies were kept away from the journey. While on one hand ego seems to be hindering the alliance, on the other hand the unseasonal organization of the Yatra is also misleading the Congress.

Some analysts believe that the Nyay Yatra has become a lion ride for the Congress, which neither continuing nor leaving it midway is without danger. All the powers of the party are indirectly limited in the hands of Rahul Gandhi and he is also leading the yatra. Without Rahul’s permission, neither other party leaders are able to take any decision regarding the organization nor is Rahul Gandhi getting time for it. This dilemma is leading Congress astray and giving setbacks to the ‘Indi alliance’. Elections have come to a head, Kamandal has won by consecrating Shri Ram Temple, former Chief Minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur, who is considered a great hero of backward class, has been given Bharat Ratna and BJP has won the recognition of Nitish Kumar, the pillar of ‘Indi alliance’. Since it has achieved a huge lead, the Congress leadership must think about whether to undertake the yatra for the good of the party or for the sake of wandering.

-Rakesh Sain

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