New Delhi | The Congress on Monday announced that it will hold 'padyatras' in 722 districts on September 7 evening to commemorate the launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra last year and take the "mohabbat ki dukaan (shop to spread love)" message to the people.
Addressing a press conference alongside senior leader Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in-charge K C Venugopal said, "Bharat Jodo Yatra had an electrifying effect all over in India on our cadre.
He said that all those who believe in democracy and the values of this country are also very much enthused by the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
"Commemorating the Bharat Jodo Yatra on its first anniversary, we are launching 722 Bharat Jodo Yatras in each of the districts," Venugopal said.
Between 5 pm and 6 pm on September 7, foot marches led by party leaders, Congress Working Committee members, CLP leaders, Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs, state in-charges, MLAs and MPs will be held across the country, he said.
In a post on microblogging site X, he said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was a historic event that changed the course of Indian history.
"To celebrate the anniversary of the monumental feat accomplished by Rahul Gandhi ji and thousands of Congress workers, we will be holding a Bharat Jodo Yatra in every district on September 7. Each yatra will culminate in a Bharat Jodo Rally in the district," he said.
Venugopal said 722 districts of India will once again be reminded of the message of "Nafrat ke bazaar mein mohabbat ki dukaan (setting a shop to spread love in the market of hate)".
Rahul Gandhi launched the yatra on September 7, 2022, in Kanyakumari. It ended on January 30 this year as Gandhi capped his ambitious 145-day journey in Srinagar.
"I have not done this (yatra) for myself or the Congress but for the people of the country. Our aim is to stand against the ideology that wants to destroy the foundation of this country," Gandhi had said at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar at a rally marking the grand finale of the cross-country march.
During the course of the yatra, Gandhi addressed 12 public meetings, more than 100 street corner meetings and 13 press conferences. He had over 275 planned walking interactions and more than 100 sitting interactions.
Several experts had said a big takeaway from the yatra for the Congress had been Gandhi's image transformation -- from a reluctant and part-time politician to one who is mature and taken seriously by opponents.
With over 4,000 kilometres under his belt, Gandhi had managed to catch the attention of his supporters as well as detractors. The march saw participation from a cross-section of society, including film and TV celebrities such as Kamal Haasan, Pooja Bhatt, Riya Sen, Swara Bhasker, Rashami Desai, Akanksha Puri and Amol Palekar.
Besides, writers and military veterans, including former Army chief Gen (Retd) Deepak Kapoor and ex-Navy chief Admiral (Retd) L Ramdas, and noted people such as former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and ex-finance secretary Arvind Mayaram had also participated in the yatra.
Opposition leaders such as National Conference's Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, PDP's Mehbooba Mufti, Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray, Priyanka Chaturvedi and Sanjay Raut and NCP's Supriya Sule, had also walked alongside Gandhi at various points in time during the march.