PM’s release of Cheetah tactic to divert attention from Bharat Jodo: Ramesh

Ramesh claimed that the BJP’s “dirty tricks department” had been working overtime for the last few days to throw a spanner in the Congress yatra.


Narendra Modi | Jairam Ramesh | Congress

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to release Cheetahs in a Madhya Pradesh national park as a “tactic to divert attention” from the grand old party’s “immensely successful” ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

Ramesh claimed that the BJP’s “dirty tricks department” had been working overtime for the last few days to throw a spanner in the Congress yatra.

“It has been ten days since the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ started, and the spontaneous response we received showed that the initiative is turning out to be immensely successful.

“This has perplexed the BJP and its leadership. They now want to change the narrative and have been trying to look for diversionary tactics,” the former Union minister said, addressing a press conference here.

Modi on Saturday released cheetahs brought from Namibia into a special enclosure at the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh.

Eight cheetahs were brought to Gwalior from Namibia in a special plane on Saturday morning as part of the cheetah reintroduction programme.

The PM, on the occasion of his birthday, also clicked some photographs of these spotted animals on a professional camera after releasing them into the enclosure.

Ramesh, talking to reporters, said, “The dirty tricks department of the BJP is now working overtime to create a separate media narrative or to find flaws in Congress’s Yatra. This release of the Cheetahs is the latest from that department after its attempts to create issues over a T-Shirt and other things,” he said.

“The top BJP leaders are very good at such tactics; they deserve Bharat Ratna in this field,” he said.

Talking about the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, Ramesh said it is a “booster dose” for the Congress and a “decisive and transformational moment” for the politics of the country.

Nearly 3650-km-long padayatra is being undertaken by senior leader Rahul Gandhi from Kanyakumari to Kashmir over five-and-a-half months to galvanise Congress cadres and strengthen the organisation, giving it new energy, Ramesh, along with his party colleague Digvijay Singh, said at the press conference.

“The country is going through a situation where our politics, economy, and institutions are falling apart. We always took pride in our unity in diversity, but the BJP is trying to destroy that and create uniformity. This yatra is against the policy and politics of the BJP,” Ramesh said.

The Rajya Sabha MP pointed out that the yatra has nothing to do with forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat or other states; rather, it is aimed at Lok Sabha polls scheduled in 2024.

Asked whether the yatra would also cover Bengal and other eastern states, Ramesh replied in negative.

He, however, asserted that a similar march would be organised in Bengal, christened “Bharat Jodo West Bengal” in the next three to four months.

“The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ started from Kanyakumari and will end in Kashmir. It is a vertical yatra moving from south to north, covering 12 states that come in its way. But we have plans to take out separate rallies in Assam and West Bengal,” he said.

The state Congress leadership will decide on the details of the ‘Bharat Jodo West Bengal Yatra’ on September 20.

The veteran Congress leader described the nearly-3650-km-long march as a “turning point” in Indian politics.

“India’s oldest political party has launched the longest padayatra. The yatra was needed to highlight the divisive and negative politics being practised in the country with the real issues getting buried,” Ramesh added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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