New Delhi: In a clear message that Mallikarjun Kharge is in command, former Congress chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi attended the party’s foundation day programme where the current party president hoisted the flag at the headquarters here on Wednesday.
Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, scores of Congress leaders were present. Since 1998 Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had been presidents, so this was the first time that a non-Gandhi hoisted the flag. However, when Sonia Gandhi was unwell during her tenure, on three occasions A.K. Antony, Motilal Vora and Ambika Soni had hoisted the flag at the party headquarters.
In his speech after the flag hoisting programme, Kharge hailed Rahul Gandhi for his Bharat Jodo Yatra and accused the Central government for dividing the nation and “not bothering about the sufferings of the people”.
“Indian National Congress has always worked for the well-being & progress of the people of India. We firmly believe in equality of opportunity guaranteed in political, economic & social rights, enshrined in the Constitution of India,” said Kharge in his tweet.
Rahul Gandhi in his tweet in Hindi said, “I am proud to be a part of such an organisation which chose the path of truth, non-violence and struggle in every situation and always took every step in public interest.”
K.C. Venugopal, party general secretary said in his tweet: Congress’ legacy is burnished with stories of sacrifices. As @INCIndia celebrates the 138th Foundation Day, we salute the great sacrifices made by our founding fathers. We continue to be the proud torchbearers of that legacy through #BharatJodoYatra.”
Kharge will address a public rally in Mumbai later in the day.
For the next leg of Yatra the party has invited other party leaders to join and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP President and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will be joining Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in J&K.
Mufti tweeted: “Ive been formally invited to join @RahulGandhi ji for his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir today. Salute his indomitable courage & I believe it is my duty to stand with someone who has the courage to challenge fascist forces. Will be joining him in his march towards a better India,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, J&K administration has said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra would be allowed in the UT provided it does not violate the law.