Rahul Gandhi’s two Yatras failed to make any impact in MP

Bhopal, June 8: Madhya Pradesh is perhaps the only state where the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led two yatras, Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, passed through.

Bharat Jodo Yatra which began from Kanyakumari, entered Madhya Pradesh via neighbouring Maharashtra in the last week of November 2022, just one year before the State Assembly elections slated for November 2023.

On March 2, 2024, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra entered Madhya Pradesh after covering over 650 km (MP leg yatra) distance in span of over one week.

Interestingly, the Lok Sabha elections were announced (on March 16) just a week after, Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra crossed Madhya Pradesh. The state Congress leaders had assumed that the second yatra would have an impact on the Lok Sabha elections.

However, in the context of the Lok Sabha elections, Nyay Yatra’s impact in Madhya Pradesh was even worse than Bharat Jodo Yatra, leading to Congress’ humiliating defeat in the state.

Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra had passed through eight Lok Sabha constituencies in the state – Morena, Gwalior, Guna, Rajgarh, Dewas, Ujjain, Dhar, and Ratlam.

The Congress had high expectations that Rahul’s yatra would help them to win at least two Lok Sabha seats. The party has relatively performed well in this particular region (Morena, Gwalior, Guna, Rajgarh, Dewas, Ujjain, Dhar, and Ratlam) in the state assembly elections in November last year.

However, Congress lost all these seats, including Rajgarh where heavyweight leader and two-time Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh contested against the BJP veteran and a sitting MP Rodmal Nagar.

Another Congress veteran and ex-MP Kantilal Bhuria, who contested the Lok Sabha election from the Ratlam-Jhabua seat, lost to BJP’s Anita Nagar Singh Chouhan.

During the Bharat Jodo Yatra in November 2022, Rahul Gandhi covered six districts Burhanpur, Khandwa, Khargon, Indore, Ujjain, and Agar-Malwa.

These six districts have as many as 21 assembly seats and the Congress could win only four of them in the 2023 assembly elections while the party won seven seats in the 2018 assembly elections. The BJP won 17 out of these 21 assembly seats in 2023 against 17 in 2018.

The Congress has been out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003 (except from December 2018 to March 2020). The party’s ground in the context of the Lok Sabha elections has also continued to decrease since 2014. By 2024, it lost all 29 Lok Sabha seats, including Chhindwara, which the party retained since 1980.

This humiliating defeat has once again triggered infighting in Madhya Pradesh Congress as some party leaders have raised questions on the party’s current state leadership – Jitu Patwari, who has replaced former Chief Minister Kamal Nath as state unit head after the loss in the assembly election.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal after a marathon CWC meeting in Delhi on Saturday told the press that the party will send a team to Madhya Pradesh to introspect the humiliating loss in the Lok Sabha elections.

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