Congress MP Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra arrived in the country's cleanest city, Indore, on Sunday, on the sixth day of its Madhya Pradesh leg. The city is a BJP stronghold, where Congress has failed to win Lok Sabha polls since 1984, and mayoral polls since 1995.
At the Rajwada palace, Rahul Gandhi again attacked the central government, saying, "What the Chinese army couldn't do to India has been done by demonetisation and a flawed GST".
Mr Gandhi repeated his assertion that the twin policies were "disastrous", and hindered the cash flow of small and medium traders and farmers, who he says are the biggest employment generators in the country.
"This resulted in the end of jobs in the country. Until the micro, small, and medium enterprises, and farmers, aren't revived, India's youth won't get jobs. Look at what is happening now, those who have engineering and other professional degrees are driving cabs or delivering food on order," he said.
The Congress MP then took a dig at BJP's funding, saying money from the poor's pockets is rapidly changing hands and reaching the BJP, which is then putting it into the pockets of greedy MLAs to pull down elected governments in states.
"This is what exactly happened, when the government elected by you in MP (in 2018) was pulled down by paying crores of rupees to greedy MLAs of the government. If that wasn't corruption, then what is to be called corruption?" he asked.
Rahul Gandhi claimed the media is ignoring pressing public issues, and reporting on celebrities instead. He said that journalists are doing it under pressure, and he holds no grudges against them.
"Instead of reporting on public issues, like unemployment and farmers' distress or the success of Bharat Jodo Yatra, the media personnel are forced to report on what dress Aishwarya Rai is wearing, what Shahrukh Khan is saying and the boundaries being hit by Virat Kohli in a gripping cricket match. But I don't hold any grudges against the press people, as they are doing it under pressure of those reigning in from behind. Take a TV remote and start shuffling through channels, what you'll see are Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Aishwarya Rai, and Ajay Devgan only. You'll never get to see the worried faces and blistered hands of our farmers," he said.
Famous Urdu poet Rahat Indori's son Satlaj Indori also joined the yatra and said he presented to Rahul Gandhi two books dedicated to his late father, including the latter's autobiography.
The yatra, a mass contact initiative of the Congress, will cover a distance of 380 km in the Malwa-Nimar region of western Madhya Pradesh in 12 days before entering Rajasthan on December 4, as per the schedule announced by the party.
The foot march entered Madhya Pradesh on November 23 at Bodarli village in Burhanpur district from neighbouring Maharashtra.
In the last six days, the yatra has completed more than half of its journey in Madhya Pradesh.
The march led by Gandhi has so far covered Burhanpur, Khandwa, Khargone and Indore districts in MP.