Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said small and medium businesses suffered due to “wrong” policies of the Centre like demonetisation and poor implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) as he entered Maharashtra on Monday night holding a ‘flaming torch’ (mashaal) as part of his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
Rahul said during his stay in Maharashtra over the next 15 days, he will listen to the voice of the state and also its pain, and asserted no force can stop his 61-day-old yatra that began on September 7 from Kanniyakumari (Tamil Nadu) and will culminate in Srinagar.
The 3,570-km-long yatra led by the Congress MP reached Deglur in central Maharashtra’s Nanded district from neighbouring Telangana. During his stay in the state, Gandhi will address two rallies as part of the cross-country march aimed at reviving the party.
Top Maharashtra Congress leaders, including the party’s state unit chief Nana Patole welcomed the yatra. The party’s state unit welcomed yatra participants at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue at Kalamandir in Deglur.
Addressing a gathering of party workers, Gandhi said his aim for the next 15 days is to listen to the voice of Maharashtra and also its pain.
He said the march started two months back from Kanniyakumari and it will stop only at Srinagar after hoisting the tricolour.
“No force can stop this yatra,” asserted the former Congress president, whose party was a strong political force in Maharashtra for several decades and was a constituent of the three-party ruling coalition till June this year.
Rahul Gandhi said the aim of the yatra is to bind the country together and highlighted major issues before the country.
He will address two rallies during his yatra in Maharashtra – the first on November 10 in Nanded district and the second one on November 18 at Shegaon in Buldhana district, as per the schedule shared by the Congress.
Congress has invited Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, both allies of the party, to take part in the foot march. Pawar had earlier said he would join the yatra.
However, senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan has said the participation of Pawar in the yatra in Maharashtra will depend on his health condition.
With inputs from News18