Amid talk raging about his wearing a T-shirt despite the winter chill during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he decided to wear only T-shirts during the march after meeting three poor girls "shivering in torn clothes" in Madhya Pradesh.
"People ask me why I am wearing this white T-shirt, don't I feel cold. I will tell you the reason. When the yatra began... in Kerala, it was hot and humid. But when we entered Madhya Pradesh, it was slightly cold.
"One day three poor girl children in torn clothes came to me...When I held them, they were shivering as they were not wearing proper clothes. On that day, I took a decision that till the time I do not shiver, I will only wear a T-shirt," Mr Gandhi said, while addressing a street corner meeting in Haryana's Ambala this evening
Rahul Gandhi said that he wants to give out a message to those girls.
"When I start shivering, then I will think of wearing a sweater. I want to give a message to those three girls that if you are feeling cold, then Rahul Gandhi will also feel cold," he said.
इस टी-शर्ट से बस इतना इज़हार कर रहा हूं,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 9, 2023
थोड़ा दर्द आपसे उधार ले रहा हूं। pic.twitter.com/soVmiyvjqA
During Uttar Pradesh-leg of the yatra, the Wayanad MP had last week said that the media is highlighting his attire but taking "no notice of the poor farmers and labourers walking along with him in torn clothes".
"My being in T-shirt is not a real question, the real question is why are the farmers, poor labourers of the country and their children are in torn clothes, T-shirts and without sweaters," he had said in Bhagpat.
On Monday, Mr Gandhi also targeted PM Fasal Bima Yojana and said when crops are destroyed due to vagaries of weather and other reasons and affected beneficiaries go to seek compensation, they come to know that the company is nowhere to be found.
Citing newspaper reports, the former Congress chief further said in Himachal Pradesh, entire apple trade is in the hands of one industrialist. "If you go to Jammu and Kashmir, again entire apple trade in the hands of same industrialist," he said.
Touching upon farmers who protested against now repealed central farm laws, Mr Gandhi said Congress party raised demand in Parliament that "700 farmers had died during stir against farm laws, at least acknowledge their sacrifice and give them martyr status, but government does not accept they had died".
Currently, the march is passing through Haryana.
The yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, will end after reaching Srinagar on January 30 with Gandhi hoisting the national flag there.
The march has so far covered Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)