Following yet another crushing defeat in Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to embark on a ‘Bharat Yatra’ soon to connect with the masses.
While the yatra is still in the discussion stages, party sources said the tour would take him to various regions, helping him understand the real issues affecting the people.
“He really wants to go on a countrywide tour to connect with the people. It could be a mix of padayatra and travel by car or public transport in some regions. It has to be worked out after a final go-ahead,” said sources with knowledge of the developments.
The Congress chief has been contemplating this mass contact programme for some time, the sources said and added the party’s second-worst performance in Lok Sabha polls had only strengthened his resolve to undertake the yatra.
But Rahul would first like to set the house in order before the tour, the sources said. The party is in turmoil with a blame game among some quarters and a spate of resignations, including Rahul’s own.
While many have cited the 14-month long ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatra’ undertaken by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy before he became the Andhra Pradesh chief minister and how it made him popular among the masses, others have pointed to Rahul’s own tours in Gujarat in 2017 that helped the party give a tough fight to the BJP.
Party workers said padayatras not only help leaders connect with the people better, but also give a huge boost to cadre in small towns and villages.
“At rallies, people listen to you about general issues, but during padayatras, there is direct contact,” a party leader said.