Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday morning commenced the 3,570-km padyatra from Agasteeswaram in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari. The Bharat Jodo yatra will pass through 12 states and two Union Territories over the next 150 days. Rahul along with the 118 yatris plan to finish their ambitious journey in Srinagar by the beginning of February next year. The yatra began with Rahul hoisting the flag at the campsite of Bharat Yatris, who will walk with him. He later met the family of NEET aspirant, Anitha, who died by suicide and expressed his condolences.

On Wednesday, Gandhi hit out at the ruling party, saying that the tricolour is under attack by BJP and RSS that are dividing India on the lines of religion and language, and urged the people to defend the ideas and values behind the flag. He said that every single institution of the country is under attack and alleged that the BJP considers the tricolour its personal property. He alleged that India is facing its worst-ever economic crisis along with the highest unemployment rate ever and the country is headed towards a disaster.