It’s 6 am and Desom junction in Kerala, 19 km from Kochi, resembles a police outpost. As the day unfolds, males clothed in white — Congress members — trickle in among the many scores of police personnel. At 6.30, an announcement goes out, sparking a sudden flurry of exercise: “Rahulji has left from Aluva UC College (the previous night’s campsite), he is arriving soon.”
Policemen pull out ropes from their autos to regulate the gang, Congressmen usher in bundles of occasion flags, tricolour balloons begin fluttering, and some folks pull on their knee sleeves. In no time, Desom is all set to kick-off the fifteenth day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Rahul retains the swelling crowd ready for quarter-hour, earlier than alighting within the midst of a teaming mass of Congress staff. Flanked by senior leaders, he begins marching.
The crowd grows because the yatra strikes alongside the nationwide freeway. There are yatris for the Kerala days, for the two-day Ernakulam district stretch and for the day’s leg, aside from the 120-odd who will full the complete 151-day journey.
E Nisarudheen, a Youth Congress employee from Kollam says: “I have joined the yatra from Kanyakumari but have to stop at the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. I am allowed only in the Kerala leg. I have requested the party to allow me to walk till Kashmir.”
Nisarudheen, who runs a catering agency, mentioned many yatris together with him felt strained throughout the preliminary days. “But things have changed now. We draw energy from the huge turnout of the people. Rahul takes care of all of us. Everyday, he interacts with us and looks into our welfare. We need not worry about any logistics. We wake up at 4 am and get ready for the day’s walk. All you need to do is to move your legs,” mentioned the native Youth Congress chief at Kundara in Kollam.
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Both sides of the highway are splashed with banners and billboards of the yatra. There is just one face on the posters, and one title on the lips of the marching crowd: Rahul. Slogans which sometimes go up are usually not in opposition to the CPI(M) however in opposition to the BJP and its “divisive politics”. No slogan is raised for any Congress Kerala satrap, an in any other case ubiquitous observe at any occasion occasion.
Varun Alappad, a fisherman and Congress employee, has deserted his work to affix the yatra. “This is the best season for fish and making some money for the family. But I decided that I should join this yatra for the cause of the country and its future. I being the lone breadwinner, my family is not happy with the idea.”