Rahul Gandhi walked into Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday evening in the last phase of Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra. He will end the Bharat Jodo Yatra at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar city on January 30.
Marching into Lakhanpur area of Kathua from neighbouring Punjab, Gandhi said: "My ancestors belonged to this land, I feel I am returning home. I am going back to my roots, I know the suffering of the people of J&K.
I come to you with a bowed head. "The media uses topics such as Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Akshay Kumar to divert attention of people. The BJP and RSS have spread hatred, I earlier thought it ran deep, but it does not and is mainly seen on television.
"I have walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, BJP and RSS policies have led to widespread unemployment. Government is indulging in mass pickpocketing, it diverts your attention and then loots you."
Gandhi listed hatred, violence, unemployment and price rise as main issues confronting country. He blamed media for not highlighting them. Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Muzaffar Shah, Tariq Hameed Karra, Vikar Rasool, G.A. Mir, Lal Singh and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut joined the march at Lakhanpur.
"After the night halt, Rahul will lead the Yatra from Hatli Morh in Kathua tomorrow morning and take a night halt at Chadwal. January 21 will be the break day. "The rally will reach Jammu on January 23 and the party will hold a rally in the city.
The Yatra will remain in Jammu region for over a week. The Yatra will enter the Valley through the Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu national highway on January 27," senior Congress leader Mir said.
"From January 27, the Yatra will travel to different parts enroute to Srinagar. A mega rally will be held at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar on January 30 to mark the closing of the Yatra, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7," he added.
J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh said all security needs of the Yatra will be taken care of and security will be ensured in every district.