Bharat Jodo Yatra Comes to an End: List of Leaders and Their Political Odyssey, from LK Advani to Rahul Gandhi

Bharat Jodo Yatra Comes to an End: List of Leaders and Their Political Odyssey, from LK Advani to Rahul Gandhi

The national flag was raised on Monday at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) headquarters in the Lal Chowk neighborhood of Kashmir, where Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, which began on September 7 of last year and traveled more than 4,000 kilometers through 12 states and two Union Territories, came to an end.

The Wayanad MP spoke at a gathering in Srinagar to commemorate the march's conclusion today when it was snowing, stating that the goal of his Bharat Jodo Yatra was to preserve the liberal and secular character of the nation. "I did this (the Yatra) for the people of the nation, not for me or the Congress. Our goal is to oppose the ideology that seeks to undermine the basis of our nation, he said.

The yatra is over, but there are still worries about whether Congress will benefit electorally in the future, particularly with nine states holding elections this year before the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Previous political figures like LK Advani, Narendra Modi, and Mamata Banerjee all went on political yatras to meet voters and position themselves as the people's representatives. Most of them ultimately gained momentum and helped their respective parties win elections.

Here are some political figures who have participated in such yatras and afterwards helped their party win elections:


NTR, the Telugu Desam Party (TDPfounder, )'s is credited with inventing the "Rath Yatra" movement in Indian politics after independence. The 'Chaitanya Ratham Yatra', which covered 40,000 miles and visited Andhra Pradesh four times in nine months, propelled NTR to power in 1983. The actor-turned-politician slept in his rath and ate at wayside motels throughout the yatra, returning to Hyderabad only after the announcement of the Assembly elections.


L K Advani of the BJP began his Rath Yatra in September 1990 from Gujarat's Somnath Temple to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to support the Ramjanmabhoomi campaign months before the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. But Lalu Prasad Yadav, the then-chief minister of Bihar, refused to let it in the state. Although the yatra did not make it to Ayodhya, it did affect the BJP's fortunes as the party increased its total from 85 seats in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections to 120 seats in the 1991 elections. Advani traveled 15,000 kilometers as part of the Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra in 1997.


Narendra Modi started the Gujarat Gaurav Yatra in September 2002 to appeal to the "pride of the people of Gujarat" after quitting his job and requesting that the Gujarat Assembly be dissolved nine months before it was supposed to conclude. The BJP won the 2002 Assembly elections with a landslide victory, and Modi was sworn in for a second term as chief minister, making the yatra a huge success. Months after rioting against religious minorities in the state, the elections were held in December. Before the 2017 and 2022 Assembly elections, the BJP began a similar yatra in Gujarat, and the party won both times.


In 2003, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the leader of the Congress in the unified Andhra Pradesh. He went on a 1,500-kilometer padyatra. YSR brought attention to people's hardships and the TDP regime's disregard for farmers' concerns during the two-month-long yatra. Because to YSR's ability to connect with the people, Congress was able to unseat the TDP in the 2004 Assembly elections and regain control of Andhra Pradesh.


Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamool Congress, emulated Mahatma Gandhi by organizing a number of large-scale padyatras around West Bengal before to the 2011 state Assembly elections in an effort to engage the populace. It was one of the elements that enabled the TMC to overthrow the Left Front, which had ruled West Bengal for 33 years. She also came to be known as a "street warrior" over time.


The leader of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, started a 3,648 km foot march (Praja Sankalp Yatra) on November 6, 2017, after a loss in the 2014 Assembly elections. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government of Chandrababu Naidu was criticized in more than 100 public speeches the YSRCP head delivered throughout the yatra, which traversed almost all of Andhra Pradesh in 341 days. Every day, Reddy covered between 15 and 30 kilometers. A few months later, the YSRCP won 151 out of 175 seats in the 2019 Assembly elections, registering a resounding triumph. In the Lok Sabha elections, Reddy's party won 22 of the state's 25 seats.