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Bengal: Rahul Gandhi Gets Enthusiastic Response as Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra Enters

People in Cooch Behar had lined up en route for hours to catch a glimpse of the Congress leader.
Rahul Gandhi

The Congress leader was forced to stop as thousands of onlookers  gathered on the roadsides to catch a glimpse of him.  

Kolkata: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is on his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, received an enthusiastic welcome from residents of Cooch Behar residents, as his Volvo bus entered West Bengal from Assam. Though there was no scheduled stoppage of his cavalcade in any other place other than Khagrabari, the Congress leader was forced to stop as thousands of onlookers and passersby gathered on the roadsides to catch a glimpse of him.  

Interestingly, in West Bengal, too, the ruling party followed in the footsteps of the Himanta Biswa Sarma government of Assam, as police tried to hinder the Nyay Yatra by not giving permission to it to stop en route.

In fact, not happy with Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the ruling TMC (Trinamool Congress) workers began trolling state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, using the name of a little-known organisation called "Nagarik Brinda", which stood with placards urging Rahul Gandhi to ‘leave the state’ and asking Congress to ‘leave Bengal’, saying Didi (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) was singularly capable of tackling the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP).

‘Such hand-written slogans by TMC workers were being displayed in a shameful manner,” said a Congress worker, who had come from Mekhlibari to greet Rahul Gandhi.

It may be recalled that in a large area of Cooch Behar district there is one-party rule (TMC), BJP making inroads in the last Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

On January 25 morning, Rahul Gandhi, after entering Bengal, said the Congress was speaking of five ‘Nyays’ (justice) in the country as there were many wrongdoings. He had earlier said that "The five pillars are justice for the youth, equal representation, justice for women, justice for farmers and justice for labourers”

In Bengal, the Congress leader said, “The BJP and RSS are spreading hatred, violence and enmity between people. To tackle this precarious situation, we have embarked on the Nyay Yatra. And to fight against these wrongs, the formation called INDIA has been constituted”.

A visibly elated Choudhury, ostensibly happy with the show of strength in West Bengal, said that the Congress party had not received an iota of help from the police and administration while conducting this yatra, but people and Congress workers were overflowing the venues where Rahul Gandhi was visiting.

In fact, Rahul Gandhi, when he entered west Bengal, struck a chord with the people when he said in his first speech: “How are you? I have come in all the way not to speak, but to hear what you all have to say.”

He said that during the Assam leg of the Nyay Yatra (where the Yatra faced attacks by the ruling party workers and hurdles by the BJP government), the determination and courage shown by Congress workers was “something extraordinary”. He said the reception they got upon entering West Bengal was also “noteworthy”.

Though people knew that en route from Assam to Cooch Behar there were a few stoppages of the Nyay Yatra, but just to get a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi, they stood for hours on the national highway.  Similar scenes were observed in Tufangunj More, Deochorai, Chilakhana, Marugunj, Dowaguri, Kalerpar and in several other areas from where the Yatra passed.


CPI(M) decides to join Nyaya Yatra wherever invited

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to join the Yatra wherever they have been invited. The area leadership of the party will be present in the Nyay Yatra, said CPI(M) politburo member Surjyakanta Mishra, who was in Cooch Behar for party work. He also negated the West Bengal Chief Minister's allegations about “differences” in the INDIA grouping.

Mishrsa said from the very beginning of INDIA, Mamata Banerjee’s role was “confusing”.  He said her “main crime”, as stated by party leader and former CM late Jyoti Basu, was that it was she who had invited BJP to West Bengal (as part of the National Democratic Alliance). He said all secular forces in the state will group together and fight both BJP and TMC.

In another development, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien held Adhir Ranjan Choudhury responsible for the non-formation of any alliance between Congress and TMC. It is learnt that TMC had given proposals, including two seats in the Lok Sabha to Congress, which the latter had summarily rejected. After this, Mamata Banerjee said that she would fight the Lok Sabha alone and any alliance would be in the post-electoral scenario.

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