Rahul Gandhi set to embark on Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur today

Imphal: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will on Sunday embark on his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from violence-hit Manipur as the party looks to set the narrative in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls by putting the spotlight on issues such as unemployment, price rise, and social justice.

A day before the yatra, Congress asserted that the yatra is ideological and not an electoral one, and it was being taken out against the “anyay kaal” (period of injustice) of 10 years of the Narendra Modi government.

The yatra will be flagged off from a private ground in Thoubal district, instead of Imphal, the party’s initial choice.

The state government had given the Congress conditional approval to flag off the yatra from the Palace Grounds in the state capital, restricting the number of participants. Therefore, the Congress decided to opt for another venue.

The Thoubal district administration has also imposed some restrictions such as the duration should not exceed an hour and the number of participants should not exceed 3,000.

The yatra will pass through 100 Lok Sabha constituencies in 15 states and the party believes it will prove to be as “transformative” as Rahul Gandhi’s earlier cross-country march.

The Congress has said it is taking out the yatra as the government did not give it a chance to raise people’s issues in Parliament and the initiative is aimed at re-establishing the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Constitution.

The yatra will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses but also on foot. It will cover 110 districts in 67 days, before culminating in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.

Though the Congress has repeatedly stressed that this is not an electoral yatra, it comes at a crucial juncture as the party seeks to revive its fortunes after a poor showing in the last round of assembly elections.

With the BJP focusing on the January 22 Ram temple consecration ceremony, the Congress wants to put the spotlight on bread-and-butter issues through this yatra.