Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan has said the participation of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Maharashtra will depend on his health condition.
The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, a mass outreach initiative of the Congress which began on September 7 from Kanyakumari, is scheduled to enter Maharashtra’s Nanded district on Monday night from neighbouring Telangana.
The Congress had invited NCP president Pawar, 81, to participate in the foot march and the latter earlier said he would join the yatra.
Pawar was recently hospitalised in Mumbai for fever and other health issues.
The NCP chief on Saturday flew to Shirdi from Mumbai with doctors and addressed the party convention briefly.
Talking to reporters in Nanded on Sunday evening, former chief minister Chavan said, “There seems to be a change in Sharad Pawar’s programmes. I have come to know that he may join the yatra on November 10, but it will depend on his health condition.”
The state Congress leadership plans to highlight the participation of the NCP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction in the yatra as a show of solidarity of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Chavan also said the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will enter Deglur in Maharashtra’s Nanded district on Monday.
The Congress state unit has planned to hold a welcome ceremony for the yatra participants at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue in Deglur, as per the schedule shared by the party.
After the welcome ceremony, the yatra will resume at night in which the participants will carry ‘Ekta Mashals’ (Unity Torches). Post mid-night, the marchers will take a break at a gurdwara in Deglur and later, they will take a night halt at the Chidravar Mill there.
The yatra will resume on Tuesday morning.