Before the launch of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ on September 7, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will take part in a prayer meeting at former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial in Sriperumbudur and attend an event in Kanyakumari where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin will hand over the national flag to him, sources said on Friday.
After the event at the Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam where Stalin will be present, Rahul Gandhi, along with other Congress leaders, will walk to the venue of the public rally where the yatra will be launched.
Gandhi will begin the 3,570-km ‘padayatra’ from Kanyakumari to Srinagar at 7 am on September 8, the sources said.
The yatra will reach Kerala on September 11 and will traverse through the state for the next 18 days, reaching Karnataka on September 30.
The yatra will remain in Karnataka for 21 days before moving to other states northwards.
The party has classified 118 leaders, including Gandhi, as ‘Bharat Yatris’ who will walk through the distance from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. They will cover on an average 20-25 km a day. Nine leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, out of the 118 ‘Bharat Yatris’ are in the age bracket of 51-60 years, sources said. Of the 118 leaders, 20 are in the age bracket of 25-30, 51 between 31-40, 38 between 41-50, they said.
The yatra will start from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and then move northwards passing through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nilambur, Mysuru, Bellary, Raichur, Vikarabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Indore, Kota, Dausa, Alwar, Bulandshahr, Delhi, Ambala, Pathankot, Jammu, and culminate in Srinagar.
The classification of those participating in the yatra is — ‘Bharat Yatris’, ‘Atithi Yatras’ and ‘Pradesh Yatris’.
A new classification of ‘Volunteer Yatris’ has been introduced after over 37,000 common people not related to the party registered on the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ website.
Before the launch of the yatra on September 7, Rahul Gandhi will also visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue and Kamaraj Memorial in Kanyakumari.
The ‘padayatra’ will move in two batches one from 7-10:30 am in the morning and the other from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening. While the morning session would include a lesser number of participants, the evening session would see mass mobilisation, the sources said.
The tagline of the yatra is ‘Mile Kadam, Jude Watan’.