BJP Claims Bharat Jodo Yatra's Friday Break Is 'In Solidarty With PFI's Hartal'; Congress Refutes

PFI Hartal supporters took out protest marches, blocked vehicles and forcefully downed the shutters of shops in various places, where the outfit has a strong presence.

By Talibuddin Khan
Fri, 23 Sep 2022 01:04 PM IST
Minute Read
BJP Claims Bharat Jodo Yatra's Friday Break Is 'In Solidarty With PFI's Hartal'; Congress Refutes
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walks holding hands with supporters during his party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, in Ernakulam. (ANI Photo)

THE CONGRESS and the BJP are again at the loggerheads and this time over the weekly break in the Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra. A political storm was unleashed on Friday, the day marked as a break for all the members participating in the mega rally of the grand old party which is currently underway in Kerala.

The BJP, in a scathing attack on the Congress, claimed that the one-day break on Friday was in solidarity with the PFI's call for a day-long state-wide strike against the pan-India raids on its leaders and offices on Thursday by central agencies including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Attacking the Congress, BJP leader Kapil Mishra in a tweet alleged that Friday's break in Congress’ Bharat Jodo yatra was a show of solidarity with the PFI’s hartal call. "PFI and Islamic Jihadi organizations called for strike today and Congress stopped its padyatra today. Nothing can be more disgusting and shameful than this," Kapil Mishra tweeted in Hindi.

However, Congress was quick to respond to the allegations and defended the break on Friday by saying that the Bharat Jodo Yatra stops every seven days. The mega rally was last halted on September 15 while the next break is on September 30, before the yatra enters Karnataka.

"After covering 333 kms, Bharat Yatris are taking a well-earned break in Thrissur district. Last rest day was on Sep 15th after we hit 150 kms. On rest days, Yatris refresh their body & mind for next leg of #BharatJodoYatra. Today a medical camp is being organised for them," senior leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted. Congress said that during the break, the yatris are given medical attention and yoga therapy.

Kerala on Friday witnessed widespread stone pelting at public transport buses, damaging of shops and vehicles, and sporadic incidents of violence in many places during the statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal called by radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Hartal supporters took out protest marches, blocked vehicles and forcefully downed the shutters of shops in various places, where the outfit has a strong presence. Besides police personnel, some bus and lorry drivers and commuters suffered injuries in stone pelting and other related incidents.

The Kerala High Court took a case on its own over PFI's hartal and subsequent sporadic incidents of violence in the state today. The court said holding hartals were banned by it earlier and the destruction of public property cannot be accepted. The court also directed the state administration to take stern action against those who violate the court order banning hartals.

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