False: Congress halted its Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala in solidarity with PFI.

By: Shreyashi Roy
September 27 2022

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False: Congress halted its Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala in solidarity with PFI.


The Verdict False

Bharat Jodo Yatra's planned break on September 23 was announced by the Congress well before PFI's strike was conceived after the raids on its offices.

Claim ID 00e570d8


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra on Friday, September 23, took to Twitter to talk about the Popular Front of India's (PFI) strike that day and claimed that the Congress, in the midst of its 150-day long Bharat Jodo Yatra, had "stopped" their padayatra (foot march) the same day as well. The PFI is an Islamic outfit in India and its offices were raided on September 22 by central agencies like such as the Enforcement Directorate and the National Investigation Agency. 106 members of the outfit were arrested for allegedly supporting terror activities, reported The Quint. The raids and subsequent arrest of its leaders elicited a furious response from the group, which called for a dawn-to-dusk strike the very next day.

Mishra shared the Congress Twitter handle's daily status update on the march dated September 23 and insinuated that the Congress had halted their yatra to show solidarity with the PFI in its protest. Several Twitter and Facebook users followed suit in sharing this claim, all insinuating that Congress lent its support to PFI.

In fact:

Claims made by BJP leader such as Mishra are not true and Congress did not pause its padayatra in support of the PFI's strike. 

According to a report by Livemint, the PFI announced its strike for September 23 after raids on the outfit’s offices were carried out on September 22. The strike was meant to start at 6am on Friday and end at 6pm the same day. Additionally, the Kerala High Court has condemned and initiated suo motu proceedings against PFI over its call for the flash strike in the state, noting that it is illegal in nature, reported LiveLaw. In a 2019 order, the court had issued directions for a strike to be notified seven days prior to the date.

Meanwhile,The Hindu on September 21 had reported that the Congress will take a break from the yatra on September 23. The announcement about the break came well before the raids on PFI. According to the same report, the padayatra was supposed to enter Kerala's Thrissur district on September 22, take a day-long break on September 23, and continue the tour till September 25. The article also carried more details about the yatra's itinerary in Thrissur.

Further, we also found tweets by Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Pawan Khera that refuted Mishra's claim. On September 23, Ramesh took to Twitter, ostensibly in response to Mishra, to state that the participants of the Bharat Jodo Yatra were taking a well-deserved rest day after walking 333 km, adding that the previous rest day had been September 15, when they clocked 150 km. On rest days, the participants refresh their body and mind for the next leg of the yatra, he said. The fact that they had previously taken a break on September 15 and resumed their march on September 16 was backed up by a news report by Business Standard as well. Khera, meanwhile, retorted to Mishra, saying that the yatra takes a one-day break once every week.

The PFI strike witnessed widespread violence in Kerala and led to filing of 291 FIRs, Hindustan Times reported. Congress had indeed questioned the Kerala’s government alleged inaction against the violence. Congress leader V.D. Satheesan had told the media “The government was missing in action as the state was witnessing widespread violence. The CM’s silence is really intriguing ,” the report said.

It is pertinent to mention that the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which began on September 7, 2022 from Kanyakumari and will cover several states before ending in Kashmir, has been the subject of various false claims and misinformation in the last few days. Many of these claims have been fact-chekced by Logically.

The verdict:

It is clear that it that Congress had planned their break much before PFI announced their strike. There is no connection between the two events, and Congress not only did not support it but also condemned the violence that ensued. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.

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