While Rahul Gandhi's political opponents and detractors argue on the relevance of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, there's no denying that it's been more eventful than even the Congress anticipated. Political obstacles, controversies, allegations have generously dotted the Congress leader's justice and unity march, which began in Manipur on January 14.
The yatra which entered West Bengal on Thursday after an eventful run in the state of Assam, took a pre-planned break. In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, informed, "After 12 continuous days in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, meghalaya and Cooch Behar in West Bengal, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra has taken a pre-planned break from the afternoon of January 25th. The yatra will resume at 1400 hrs on January 28th with a padyatra in Jalpaiguri, followed by a padyatra in Siliguri and a public address here. The night halt is at Sonapur in Uttar Dinajpur." Meanwhile, on Friday, West Bengal Congress President claimed that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress government was not giving the required permissions to the march for holding public meetings.
While in Assam: Highlights
After three days in Assam, on January 20th Saturday, the yatra entered Arunchal Pradesh only to resume its Assam leg a day later on 21st and travel through the state till January 25. I
On January 21, the Congress claimed that the yatra had been denied permission to pass through Guwahati with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma creating obstacles and difficulties for it. A couple of days later a massive row erupted between hundreds of Congress workers and the police when stopped outside Guwahati. The clash snowballed into poliitcal mud-slinging and a bitter war of words between Rahul Gandhi and CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. The Congress leader made scathing accusations of corruption against the CM and his family members, calling them the most corrupt in the nation. "He has a stake in everything that the people of Assam use, from tea leaves to the coal that is used to prepare tea," he alleged.
After the clash where barricades were broken, the Assam Police booked Rahul Gandhi for "wanton acts of violence," with him asserting, "I don't know how Himanta Biswa Sarma got the idea that he can intimidate me by filing cases. File as many cases as you can. File 25 more, but you can't intimate me into submission. BJP-RSS can't intimidate me."
Earlier Assam CM questioned if the Congress leader was using a "body double" for his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. "The person you are clicking photos of might not be Rahul Gandhi," alleged Sarma, sending a flood of memes, and satirical posts on social media websites. "Rahul Gandhi has been using a body double on his bus journeys. This means that the person sitting at the front of the bus and looking at people is probably not Rahul Gandhi at all." Further defending his reasoning, Sarma added, citing his sources in the Congress, "The bus being used by Rahul Gandhi for the tour has several rooms, and the Congress leader is often seated inside with a bunch of people, at the same time the world is waving at Rahul Gandhi's body double."
Memes have a field day
Even those politically neutral could not ignore the sarcasm and satire that the "body double statement" lent itself to. The concept has long fascinated conspiracy theorists, to content creators and even filmmakers with several Hollywood movies exploring the plot of body double.