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Rahul Gandhi cuts short Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Jharkhand to join farmers’ protest outside NCR

Scheduled interactions with MGNREGA workers in Ranka, Garhwa district, will now be conducted by senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and other party members, as per reports

The second phase of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ in Jharkhand, set to commence on Wednesday (14th February), has been abruptly cancelled. This decision came as the senior Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, rushed to Delhi to participate in a farmers’ agitation in the national capital, according to party officials.

The decision to join the farmers’ protest in Delhi comes amidst ongoing agitation from Punjab farmers, planning to march to the national capital to press for various demands, including a law on minimum support prices for crops and loan waivers.

Scheduled interactions with MGNREGA workers in Ranka, Garhwa district, will now be conducted by senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and other party members, as per reports. Rahul Gandhi, who was slated to re-enter Jharkhand from Chhattisgarh for the yatra’s second phase, redirected his plans to join the farmers’ protest.

Congress spokesperson Sonal Shanti confirmed the cancellation of all yatra programs in Jharkhand, stating that it is unlikely to resume from the state. Instead, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh, along with other senior Congress leaders, will participate in the scheduled interactions with MGNREGA workers in Ranka.

Rajesh Thakur, Jharkhand Congress president, earlier stated that Gandhi had to depart for Delhi for a “special purpose,” referring to his participation in the farmers’ agitation. The first leg of Gandhi’s yatra in Jharkhand occurred in the first week of February, entering the state from West Bengal on 2nd February and exiting to Odisha on 6th February.

Gandhi was initially scheduled to stay in Jharkhand for two days. The ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,’ launched in Manipur on 14th January, aims to cover 6713 kilometres in 67 days, traversing 110 districts across 15 states, and culminating in Mumbai on 20th March.

On 13th February, farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states marched towards Delhi, aiming to get their demands fulfilled by the Government of India. Around 200 farmer unions are participating in the protests.

While police and rapid action forces attempted to stop them from entering the national capital, there were visuals confirming the farmer protests of 2024 had already been infiltrated by pro-Khalistani elements.

Apart from drafting a law on MSP, the protesting farmers have been demanding that India should quit the World Trade Organisation (WTO), halt trade agreements with other nations, and a monthly pension of Rs 10000 to farmers who attain the age of 60 years among others. Now, Rahul Gandhi is joining these protestors.

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