By M K Ashoka
Bengaluru, Oct 1 (IANS) Unfazed by criticism that the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra is failing to resonate with people, Congress party workers in Karnataka are upbeat about the outcome of the 21-day padyatra being led by their leader Rahul Gandhi.
Once again, the Gandhi scion has displayed his negotiating skills by brokering peace between warring factions of state president D.K. Shivakumar and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah.
Candidature of Mallikarjun Kharge for the post of AICC chief has also created a favourable vibes across the oppressed communities, which are now with the BJP.
The response that the yatra is generating among the party workers and commoners is giving anxious moments to the ruling BJP, insiders say.
Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the families of the victims of the oxygen tragedy that claimed 24 lives in Chamarajanagar has also not gone unnoticed. Moved by the children's account of their lives without their fathers, the Congress leader empathetically assured government jobs to family members of the deceased has also touched people.
Recalling the human tragedy, the organisers slammed the saffron party over its apathy for the victim families. They expressed their ire against the party for trying to brush the issue under the carpet and refusing to accept that oxygen shortage had led to the fatalities.
Videos of children recounting the trauma and emotional breakdown of the affected families during the interaction have gone viral on social media triggering a barrage of comments lambasting the BJP.
According to sources in Congress, the party which gained public attention with the PayCM campaign, offending the ruling BJP and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will go much more offensive in days to come.
Deriding the Bharat Jodo Yatra as "Bharat Todo yatra", chief minister Bommai has announced to embark on a state-wide tour with party old horse B.S. Yediyurappa immediately after Dussehra festivities.
With its mega event in Doddaballapur on the completion of one year term, the ruling party tried to get its roots in south Karnataka where Congress and regional party JD (S) dominate.
BJP which has never gained a simple majority in Karnataka in general assembly elections and managed to get to power only through operation lotus, was hopeful of breaking the jinx and attaining simple majority.
Winning assembly seats in south Karnataka is crucial to attain the dream but the Bharat Jodo Yatra will prove to be a big roadblock to the saffron party according to political pundits.
However, byoued by the response, Rajya Sabha Member and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has asserted the with the Yatra, the party will gain momentum like it managed to get with the victory of late former PM Indira Gandhi in Karnataka's Chikkamagalur parliamentary constituency after the emergency.
Prithvi Reddy, President of Aam Aadmi Party in Karnataka, told IANS that the Congress has been the biggest strength of ruling BJP. The present mess in the state is not only the failure of ruling party BJP but has stemmed from the failure of the opposition party.
The ruling BJP which is blatantly corrupt asks the Congress party whenever it is questioned on corruption that how about you? When Shivakumar talks about corruption there are no takers. Congress has failed to raise people's issues, he explained.
On the pretext of Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress is actually trying to unite the party and hence it is a "Congress Jodo yatra". People of Karnataka are fed up with three parties, BJP, Congress and JD (S). The people don't see hope in the Congress party. The response from the people is also lukewarm, Prithvi Reddy explained.
Taking a dig at the grand-old party, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of regional party JD (S) said that he did not know when the country got divided for the Congress party to organise a Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The state is dogged by many crisis situations. Is it possible for the Congress party to resolve this crisis situation through the Bharat Jodo Yatra and PayCM campaign?,he wondered.