Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar to participate in Bharat Jodo Yatra

The Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra is scheduled to cover a distance of 3,570 km in 150 days.

Baramati: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he will participate in the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra when it enters Maharashtra as an attempt is being made through it to bring harmony in society.

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Talking to reporters here, Pawar said state Congress leaders Ashok Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat had met him and extended an invitation to participate in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a mass outreach programme, when it enters the state on November 7.

The Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra is scheduled to cover a distance of 3,570 km in 150 days. It started on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the yatra, has so far covered four states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Pawar said, ”The yatra is a Congress party programme. But through this initiative, an attempt is being made to bring harmony to society. So some of us from different parties will join the yatra wherever possible when it is in the state.”

To another question, Pawar scoffed at politics being done over the elections of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“One should not bring politics into some fields. Those who do it are ignorant. When I was the BCCI president, Gujarat’s representative was (present prime minister) Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley represented Delhi while Anurag Thakur represented Himachal Pradesh. Our job is to provide facilities to players. We don’t bother about other issues,” the NCP chief said.

World Cup winner Roger Binny was recently elected as the 36th president of the BCCI, taking over from Sourav Ganguly to run the world’s richest cricket board.

Jay Shah was re-elected as the secretary for a second successive term. The other office bearers who were elected unopposed included treasurer Ashish Shelar, vice-president Rajeev Shukla and joint secretary Devjit Saikia.

On former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s tour of Aurangabad district on Sunday, Pawar said, “It is good he is travelling to meet farmers. His health has improved…why have doubts? He should put the demands of farmers before the state and central governments. If the farmers benefit, it is good.”

In June this year, the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, collapsed after Sena leader Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators rebelled against the party leadership.

Shinde later became the chief minister with the BJP’s support.

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