After 134 days spent traversing 12 states, clocking nearly 4,000 km and meeting thousands of Indians in varied interactions (sitting, walking, press conferences, and so on) Rahul Gandhi ended his Bharat Jodo (Unite India) Yatra in Srinagar on Monday with a closing ceremony attended by several leaders of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outfits or their representatives. The heavy snowfall did not appear to dampen the spirits of 52-year-old Mr Gandhi. Lightly clad in just a T-shirt in solidarity with — he said — two poor and inadequately clad children he had met in Kashmir, he sought to present himself as the kinder, gentler custodian of India’s future. The key question is whether the Yatra has injected sufficient credibility into the Congress, which has suffered debilitating electoral reverses and infighting since 2014, to present it as a viable national alternative to the BJP or a plausible platform to unite Opposition parties.
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