‘She walked half a km and left’: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Sonia Gandhi joins ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has downplayed Sonia Gandhi’s participation in the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, saying it will not have much impact in his state. “She walked half a kilometer and is gone,” Karnataka’s chief minister, Basavaraj Bommai, said as he spoke to reporters.

CM Bommai added that the yatra, which is currently going through the Karnataka polling station, will have no impact on the state. “Of course all party leaders will work for their own party, she (Sonia Gandhi) walked half a kilometer and is gone, it’s okay,” Bommai told reporters here when asked about the “impact” of the yatra.

“As far as we are concerned, we have nothing to do with it and it has no impact whatsoever,” he said. The CM rejected claims that the ruling BJP was planning meetings and state-wide tours of its leaders to counter the congressional yatra, stating that they were planned much earlier.

“As I said before, there will be six rallies, this will be part of that … We planned it earlier, but because there was a General Assembly meeting, we decided to do it after Dasara,” he added.

Sonia Gandhi joined the yatra at Pandavapura in Mandya district today and took part in a public event of the party after a long hiatus.

To cheers and slogans from party employees, Sonia Gandhi walked alongside her son Rahul Gandhi and other leaders. On Twitter, party secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “Congress President Sonia Gandhi walked with @RahulGandhi and padayatris between Jakkanahalli and Karadya in Mandya district. Her program lasted only 30 minutes. She stayed for 2 hours at #BharatJodoYatra, boosted by support from people of Karnataka and in turn, strengthen our resolve.”

Rahul Gandhi, who leads the yatra, said Sonia Gandhi has always worked to strengthen democracy. “She walked to protect these principles. I am proud to walk with her.” Party Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi said the nation will be strengthened.

In between, photos emerged of Rahul Gandhi tying Sonia’s shoelaces, on which political analyst Sudheendra Kulkarni said: “Indian culture in action. This is why millions of Indians, who are not congressmen today, will come to admire #RahulGandhi after #BharatJodoYatra.”

Congress General Secretary Organizations KC Venugopal tweeted: “Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi took part in the epic journey today and gave a huge boost to #BharatJodoYatra. Her arrival caused excitement among the crowd. Her presence alone will empower and empower the common man the determination of @RahulGandhi and the Yatris.”

The interim president of Congress joined the Rahul Gandhi-led march in Karnataka’s Mandya district, which is seen as a morale boost for the workers and will improve the party’s prospects in the state. Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed Mandya district after a two-day break in view of the Vijayadashami and Dussehra festivals.

Sonia Gandhi had arrived in Mysuru on Monday and housed in a resort near the backwaters of Kabini.

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