Revealing details of a ‘delicate situation’ faced by the Congress and praising senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s determination, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Saturday said the former party chief thought of quitting Bharat Jodo Yatra due to severe knee pain during the initial days of the movement.
Venugopal said even Priyanka Gandhi said Rahul would have to hand over the baton to senior Congress leaders due to the severe pain.
Speaking at a function organised at KPCC headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram to honour Bharat Jodo Yatris, Venugopal recalled when Rahul’s knee pain worsened from the third day of the yatra.
“His knee pain had aggravated when the yatra entered Kerala on the third day of its commencement from Kanyakumari. One night, he called me to tell (me) about the severity of his knee pain and suggested to carry out the campaign by replacing him with any another leader,” Venugopal, a close confidante of Rahul said.
Narrating the sequence of events that he had faced when the yatra that began from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, 2022 entered Kerala, Venugopal said a yatra without Rahul Gandhi was unimaginable for the Congress workers and leaders.
“Then came Priyanka Gandhi’s call to inform about the severity of knee pain Rahul suffers. She even thought of suggesting to hand over the campaign to other senior leaders,” he said, adding those were anxious moments wherein he stood with folded hands, praying for divine intervention.
Finally, a physiotherapist suggested by Rahul Gandhi joined his medical team and treated him. “With God’s grace, his pain was cured,” Venugopal told the gathering.
The yatra led by Rahul Gandhi entered Kerala on September 10 and it traversed through the state for 19 days.
The function in Kerala was also attended by senior party leaders including A K Antony.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra had ended on January 30 in an opposition show of strength with leaders of several parties joining Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as he capped his ambitious 145-day journey that covered some 4,000 kilometres from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
With inputs from News18