NCP, Uddhav’s Sena to join Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Maharashtra leg
The Congress Party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is entering Maharashtra on November 7. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray are going to be the key participants in the Maharashtra leg of this yatra. The decision to come together by the Congress’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies can be linked to the coalition’s attempts to bolster their position in state politics and also project a united front at a time when their political future in the state is facing turmoil and they face crucial elections in coming years, including the most critical general and Assembly elections in 2024.
Pawar said, “We admit that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a programme undertaken by the Congress. It is an initiative to work to restore social harmony in society. It is a good move. Although we belong to a different party, some of us will join wherever possible.”
On the decision to participate in the yatra, a senior leader of the Uddhav-led Shiv Sena said, “After the split within the Shiv Sena, we have taken a huge beating. Of our 55 MLAs, 40 defected to the Eknath Shinde camp. In the Lok Sabha, out of 18 MPs, 12 joined the Shinde camp. So, regaining our lost ground is a challenge.”
The Bharat Jodo Yatra will enter the state of Maharashtra on November 7 in the district of Nanded. The yatra is also to travel through the districts of Hingoli, Washim, and Buldhana over the following fortnight, and will cover a stretch of 382 km. There are two rallies scheduled – one for Nanded and another in Shegaon, Buldhana.
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The key figures who will participate in the yatra are Baramati MP and Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya. The MVA allies announced their decision to join in the yatra after senior Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan met and requested Pawar to join. Thorat said, “Bharat Jodo Yatra has a larger national agenda of restoring social and communal harmony in India.”