Ex-Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, Other Retired Top Officers Join Bharat Jodo Yatra

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The Bharat Jodo Yatra is attracting scores of ex-servicemen as Gandhi is opposed to the Agniveer scheme and lashed out on the government over it.

KURUKSHETRA, HARYANA — Days After RAW’s ex-chief A.S. Dulat, a group of retired armed forces officers, led by former army chief, General Deepak Kapoor (retd) joined Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana’s Kurukshetra on Sunday.

Amid severe cold and fog, the march resumed in the morning from Dodwa in Karnal’s Nilokheri region and entered the Kurukshetra district later in the day. In the evening, Gandhi offered prayers on the banks of holy Brahma Sarovar in Kurukshetra.

Gen Kapoor was accompanied by Lt Gen R.K. Hooda (retd), Lt Gen V.K. Narula (retd), Lt Gen D.D.S. Sandhu (retd), Air Marshal P.S. Bhangu (retd), Maj Gen Satbir Singh Chaudhary (retd), Maj Gen Dharmender Singh (retd), Maj Gen Bishambar Dayal (retd), Col Jitender Gill (retd), Col Pushpender Singh (retd), and Col. Rohit Chaudhry (retd).

The Bharat Jodo Yatra is attracting scores of ex-servicemen as Gandhi is opposed to the Agniveer scheme and lashed out on the government over it.

Addressing a rally in Haryana’s Panipat during his Yatra, he said that earlier a soldier used to serve the country for 15 years and proper training was imparted and retirement benefits were given but now after 5 years, he will be unemployed.

He said Panipat was once a hub of medium manufacturers, but now the situation has changed “due to demonetisation, GST, which were not policies, but weapons to destroy small and medium enterprises”.

The Congress leader alleged that the country’s wealth was held by 200 to 300 people.

Hundreds of people joined the yatra as it passed through Karnal on Sunday morning, which is also the home constituency of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The Congress’ march was welcomed through traditional Haryanvi dance while some blew conch shells.

Rahul avoids political questions

Terming them “distractions”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana, on Sunday sought to deflect questions about politics from the media, suggesting they pose these to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

“I am not the party President, ask Khargeji,” he said when asked about the party’s Chief Ministerial face in Haryana and lack of organisational structure in the state. Though Gandhi said that the organisation is not weak, but all political question be put to Kharge ji who is the party President.

Gandhi also said that he was doing his work much like what has been mentioned in Bhagavad Gita, and the Congress was doing ‘tapasya (penance) unlike the BJP which was forcing people to do their ‘puja (worship)’.

“RSS wants they be forcibly worshipped. (PM Narendra) Modiji wants this, that is why he does not meet you (media), that he be worshipped and all people in the country should worship him,” he said addressing the media.

“…Do your work, what has to happen will happen, don’t focus on the outcome, this is the thinking of this Yatra,” said Rahul.

Responding to a question, Gandhi said that he has changed himself and did not get affected by what others say about him. “Whatever is said about me, whether positive or negative, doesn’t affect me and I am doing my work.”

After the Yatra, there will be more programmes of the party, which will continue, Gandhi said.

He said the Yatra was against the divisive agenda of the BJP and it was not a political Yatra but to connect the people. — IANS (With media inputs)

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