The plights of the sinking Joshimath in Uttarakhand have found an echo in the Bharat Jodo Yatra when a delegation from the hills State on Tuesday joined Rahul Gandhi on the Jammu—Srinagar Highway near Udhampur and sought his intervention to save the hills town from further sinking.
Led by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat, the delegation raised placards “Save Joshimath—Save Uttrakhand” and participated in the foot march with the former Congress president, who also picked up one of the placards. The team urged Gandhi to raise their voice in Parliament and other forums as the historical mountain town was fast sinking and might vanish soon.
Notably, fresh cracks have surfaced in Joshimath, Badrinath Highway and other places in Chamoli district where the administration has identified 863 unsafe buildings in Joshimath which would be demolished.
A 65-member delegation from Ladakh led by Congress President Nawang Rigzin Jora joined Gandhi at the start of the march from Nagrota on Tuesday morning. “We briefed him about the issues and concerns of the people of Ladakh,” said Jora.
The delegation demanded implementation of the 4-point agenda which included full statehood for Ladakh, jobs for unemployed youth, protection under the Sixth Schedule and 2 seats in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for Ladakh.
The apex body of Leh and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) has launched an agitation in Ladakh for implementation of these demands.
One of the members from the delegation said that people of Ladakh had been demanding UT with legislature, but what the BJP Government had given to them was only an UT to be ruled by the bureaucrats only.
Many Kashmiri Muslim men and women were also seen walking with Rahul Gandhi in the Yatra that reached Ramban in the evening.