Sonia Gandhi will join the Congress's ambitious 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Karnataka on Thursday (October 6), sources said on Sunday. Congress leader and Mrs Gandhi's daughter, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, will join the march the next day, they added.
The Congress interim chief, who was abroad for a medical check-up when the march began, would join it for the first time from Mandya District. She will reach Karnataka tomorrow and will participate in the yatra led by Rahul Gandhi two days later, the sources said.
Earlier, Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar and AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal had said that Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would participate in the yatra in the state separately and that the dates would be announced soon.
The 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', which began on September 7 from Kanyakumari and entered Karnataka on Friday after Tamil Nadu and Kerala, will span about 511 km of the BJP-ruled state over 21 days.
The march aims to cover as many as 12 states in five months.
Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' was the only option left with the party to reach out to the masses as all other fora for expression are shut.
"There's total government control. Our mics are muted in Parliament, Assemblies are not allowed to function and opposition is harassed. In this situation, the only option left with us is 'Bharat Jodo Yatra," Mr Gandhi said at a public meeting.
He said no force in the country can stop this yatra because this is "India's March". "This is India's March and a march to hear India's voice, which no one can suppress," he added.
Congress leaders hope the march in Karnataka would rejuvenate the party workers, ahead of the assembly polls next year.
The march will cover Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, Mandya, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Ballari and Raichur districts in Karnataka. From Raichur, the march will enter Telangana.
Before exiting the state via Raichur, a massive public rally has been planned in Ballari on October 19.
Ballari is significant for the Congress as Sonia Gandhi had earlier won the Lok Sabha election from there, and the party also had held a foot march to the district against the then BJP government and the alleged mining mafia there, which had proved helpful in its 2013 Assembly polls victory.