As he marched ahead on his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi noticed an old woman standing with two cucumbers in her hand and struck up a conversation with her.

The woman explained that she had grown the cucumbers in the land allotted to her under 'Land to the Tiller Policy' at the time when Rahul Gandhi's grandmother, Indira Gandhi, was Prime Minister. He looked visibly moved towards the end of their conversation.

Karnataka is one of the few states where the policy under which the land was given to a poor farmer who tilled it, was very effectively implemented. The then Chief Minister D Devaraj Urs ensured distribution of land to poor tillers from landlords who owned hundreds of acres.

Bharat Jodo Yatra
Rahul Gandhi Yatra in KarnatakaINC

Lakhs and lakhs of beneficiaries of this policy still keep a photo of Indira Gandhi in their homes and have deep respect for the Congress party for giving them a new lease of life through ownership of land, which remained a distant dream for generations.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra has been successful in reminding the people of one of the greatest achievements of the party. The youngsters who are observing the tumultuous developments in the state are taking note and researching about the social revolution which was brought without bloodshed nearly five decades ago.

The yatra entered Karnataka through Chamarajanagar, considered as one of the most backward districts. Then it reached Mysuru district during Dusshera and passed through Mandya, Tumakuru and Chitradurga.

Bharat Jodo Yatra
Bharat Jodo Yatra on Oct 16 started from the camp at Sanganakal and continued through 13 kilometer walk to Moka Intersection.INC

It is now passing through Ballari district before eentering Andhra Pradesh officially.

BJP calls Rahul Gandhi 'bachcha'

While Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the party would win the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai called the Congress leader "a small boy who is treating senior leaders according to his whims and fancies and they are readily dancing to his tunes".

In a similar remark, former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also called Rahul Gandhi a "bachcha" (child).

Karnataka State Congress President D.K., Shivakumar who was summoned to attend an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) amid the Bharat Jodo Yatra, was also used by the party to its advantage.

ED probe

Shivakumar stated that he is being troubled to disturb the rally and attended the inquiry in New Delhi. The yatra which will be taken up for 21 days in Karnataka will cover 511 km.

Bharat Jodo Yatra
Rahul Gandhi Yatra in KarnatakaINC

The Grand Old Party is also confident of making an impact in the state's north and the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. In response to the yatra, BJP leaders in the state have launched tours, with Chief Minister Bommai announcing one under his leadership.

Congress leaders confide that the unity shown by Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar when Rahul Gandhi is around, if maintained till the Assembly elections, they can wrestle power in the state.

(With inputs from IANS)