Hundreds of people raised pro-Congress slogans as party leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday addressed them amid heavy rains and asserted that nothing can “stop us to unite the country” through the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra. Soon after Gandhi arrived at the venue for the public meeting on the outskirts of Mysuru, a sudden burst of rain greeted him and the gathering.
As the Wayanad MP chose to continue his speech, the crowds cheered for him, even as many were seen holding up chairs to ward off the torrential rain. “This journey will continue from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and will not stop. It is raining, but the showers have not stopped this yatra. Heat, storm, cold can’t stop this yatra. “This river-like journey will persist and in this river you will not find any trace of hate or violence. There will only be love and brotherhood as this is India’s history and DNA,” Gandhi told the gathering.
Earlier, during the day, Gandhi walked for over 10 kilometres from Badanavalu to Mysuru and was welcomed by a beeline of bystanders on both sides of the road. The police were seen struggling to manage the crowd and maintain order amid Congress supporters beating drums in their leader’s welcome. While roadsides were dotted with young people eager to catch a glimpse of the Congress leader, women were seen on the terrace of their houses to watch Gandhi.
At the venue of the public meeting in Mysuru later, the Congress leader said nothing can deter the Bharat Jodo Yatra which was aimed at “stopping hatred and violence spread by the BJP-RSS”. On a day the Enforcement Directorate issued summons to Karnataka Congress president DK Shiva Kumar for appearance on October 7 in the National Herald case, Gandhi told the Mysuru gathering, “No matter how much hate and violence the BJP spreads, this yatra will achieve its goal and will unite people.” The former Congress president also attacked the BJP government in Karnataka over graft charges, accusing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of crossing all limits of corruption.
“This 40 per cent (commission) government is taking bribes even from BJP people who are unable to pay up, and despite contractor association writing to the prime minister, no action has been taken,” he said. Moments after the Mysuru rally, Congress leaders took to Twitter to laud Rahul Gandhi’s rain-soaked moment as a sign of his resilience. Twitteratti drew parallels between Gandhi’s address and a similar speech NCP supremo Sharad Pawar delivered amid incessant rains during the Maharashtra elections in 2019.
AICC general secretaries Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Surjewala took to the microblogging site to say Gandhi was undeterred by rains and was committed to his resolve of uniting India. “On the evening of Gandhi Jayanthi, undeterred by a downpour in Mysuru, @RahulGandhi electrified a sea of people.
“It was an unequivocal declaration. No force can stop the #BharatJodoYatra from uniting India against hate, from speaking up against unemployment and price rise,” Ramesh said on Twitter while sharing Gandhi’s rally video. In a tweet in Hindi, Surjewala said, “The resolve to stop hate and to fight against violence shall continue…neither rains nor storm will be able to stop this,” Surjewala said. A host of Congress supporters also tweeted Gandhi’s Myrusu rally images bearing the caption, “Barsaat ho ya aandhi…nahi rukega yeh Gandhi…(Rain or storm, this Gandhi will not stop).”