After a 24-hour suspension owing to the shocking demise of a Congress MP who took part in the rally, Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra has on Sunday resumed from the Khalsa college ground in Jalandhar, Punjab. Joined by hundreds of people, Rahul Gandhi resumed the yatra after offering prayers at Devi Talab temple.
The yatra was resumed around 3 pm on Sunday - January 15 and Punjab's Congress Chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, and other leaders joined the yatra as it is on its last leg, with being scheduled to reach its destination Jammu & Kashmir on January 30.
On Saturday, senior Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary has passed away at the age of 76 due to heart attack while he was taking part in Bharat Jodo Yatra in Punjab. Chaudhary was walking with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Punjab's Phillaur during which he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a hospital but he was declared brought dead.
Chaudhary was the Congress MP from the Jalandhar constituency in Punjab. When Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra entered his constituency, Chaudhary took part in the yatra and when he was walking in the rally in Phillaur, he suffered a heart attack. An ambulance was called and Chaudhary was rushed to Phagwara's Virk hospital in Phagwarawhere.
Rahul Gandhi left the yatra and went to the hospital. However, Chaudhary was declared brought dead. Following his demise, the yatra was suspended for the day as the Congress leaders and functionaries pay tribute to the deceased and expressing condolences to the bereaving family. Chaudhary had served as the cabinet minister in Punjab when the Congress party ruled the state.
He had been serving as a Congress MP from Jalandhar by triumphing in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabh polls. Chaudhary was an advocate by profession and the party's key veteran in the state. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said Mr Chaudhary's death is a great blow to the party and organisation. Taking to Twitter, Kharge wrote, "Deeply shocked and saddened to learn about the untimely passing away of our MP, Shri Santokh Singh Chaudhary."
"His loss is a great blow to the party and organisation. In this hour of grief, my heart goes out to his family, friends, and followers. May his soul rest in peace", Kharge added. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote, "Santhok Singh Chaudhary, aged 76, Congress MP from Jalandhar, passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest during the Bharat Jodo Yatra this morning. We extend our deepest condolences to his family."
After a 24-hour suspension, the yatra resumed on Sunday afternoon. Bharat Jodo Yatra was started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and from Tamil Nadu, it has crossed dozens of states including Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. The yatra entered Punjab last Wednesday and it will reach its destination Jammu & Kashmir on January 30 during which Rahul Gandhi will be hoisting the national flag in Srinagar.