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Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra that started from India’s southern tip of Kanyakumari reached Srinagar in Kashmir on Sunday after covering about 4,000km across 12 states and two Union territories in some 145 days. The final stretch was amid a thick security cordon and culminated in a hoisting of the Indian tricolour. The unite-India walk has drawn attention back to the Congress leader, who said his feat on feet was about national unity to counter growing strife and not electoral politics. Yet, it was clearly about rallying opposition to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which he claimed could be ousted from power by the joint effort of other parties. For the yatra’s grand finale on Monday, only 12 of the 21 parties invited are reportedly expected to join. While Gandhi has had a buzz around him, whether he can be the prime ministerial candidate of a united opposition aiming to unseat Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is unclear. Leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and K. Chandrashekar Rao are also seen to be vying for that role. The extent to which the yatra has impacted Indian political dynamics will not be known until we see ballot outcomes.

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