Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), March 1 (IANS) The Congress will embark on its ‘Nadi Adhikar Yatra’ on Monday, from Banswar in Prayagraj to Manjighat in Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.
State Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said Priyanka Gandhi would launch the yatra in support of the Nishad community (OBC) in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“The yatra will begin from Prayagraj and will conclude in Ballia covering Mirzapur, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Chandausi and Ghazipur,” he added.
The yatra will continue till March 20 and Congress General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who announced it last week, will likely join the 340-km-long yatra inbetween, as she is busy canvassing through other states.
Nishads are a riverine community having a sizable population in Kaushambhi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar and Maharajganj. They belong to the OBC category and their support for the 2022 assembly elections is being seen as crucial by political parties.
The Congress is hopeful that the twin moves will help it garner the support of farming communities and build its base among the OBCs in Uttar Pradesh.
Virender Chaudhary, vice president of the state Congress Committee told reporters here, “During this river rights march, we will interact with the Nishad community in around 1,200 villages along the river and their demand to preserve the unbroken relationship between the river, boat and sailor.”
Congress leaders from Chhattisgarh and other states are also likely to participate in the 20-day-long yatra.
The ‘Nadi Adhikar Yatra’ comes close on the heels of Priyanka Gandhi’s slew of Kisan Maha Panchayats in western UP, where she said the Congress would continue to fight for the cause of farmers till the ‘anti-farmer’ laws were repealed.
Last week, Priyanka had visited Prayagraj to support the boatmen who were allegedly harassed by the local police. During an earlier visit to Prayagraj, she took a holy dip at the Sangam and even rowed a boat for some time on her way back.
In a series of tweets, she said the fishermen community had a primary right over river resources and demanded that the Yogi Adityanath government investigate the illegal sand mining being done by big companies.