“When I’d Suggested It…”: Amarinder Singh On Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’

“When I’d Suggested It…”: Amarinder Singh On Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’


Former Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh today made light of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, saying “merely walking” won’t lead to public support for the party.

Kisko jod rahe hain? (Whom is he ‘uniting’), and how — I don’t understand. You can’t rally people just by walking from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. People rally around ideas, policies. You will have to explain what you will do for India, its people. Mere travel by foot won’t get people to support you,” Capt Singh, a former Punjab Chief Minister who recently joined the BJP, said at the NDTV conclave ‘Sadda Punjab’ in Chandigarh.

Asked if he means the Yatra would end up becoming mere tourism, he said, “He [Rahul Gandhi] will get to see India. I remember, there was uproar in our party (Congress) when I’d suggested that he should first at least see India. Well, now he’s agreed with me and he’s seeing India.”

But he insisted that the Yatra won’t lead to a revival of the Congress, the party he quit after he was forced to resign as chief minister last year for a generational shift in the party ahead of the Punjab elections in which the AAP won power.

On his own future after joining the BJP, the 80-year-old said, “It’s not just about age. Health matters. Some people turn old at 40. Many remain fit even when older. I can say that I still have 5-6 years (of political future). I recently met Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and told him: ‘I still have a lot of energy, and give me some duty in Punjab or at the national level, be it in the party or otherwise’.”   

On what level of duty he’d want, he said, “I have left that to the PM. A lot of people have joined (the BJP) from all parties in Punjab. I am ready for any duty anywhere.”

Asked about the BJP’s future in Punjab, where it is only a minor player so far, he said the AAP had won the assembly elections this year only because “people wanted to try out something new”.

“I can tell you, the BJP is seeing a lot of support. Municipal elections are due soon, you will see a difference. And by the time the parliamentary elections (2024) come, you will see a lot of difference,” he claimed.

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