Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday joined party MP Rahul Gandhi and other leaders for the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka’s Mandya district, ANI reported.

Senior Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state party chief DK Shivakumar walked along with the Gandhis, PTI reported.

Sonia Gandhi is also expected to address a rally in Ballary to launch the party’s campaign in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Karnataka, NDTV reported. Assembly elections in Karnataka are expected to be held in April-May 2023.

This was the first public event that Sonia Gandhi attended since recovering from Covid-19 earlier this year. She had contracted the virus twice and was hospitalised as well. She has not been public events of the party for a long time due to health reasons.

The Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra is a 3,570-kilometre-long nationwide tour that will cover 12 states and two Union Territories in about five months.

The party has described the march as its biggest mass contact exercise since independence and a “turning point” in India’s political history ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The march was launched from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 8.

It arrived in Karnataka on September 30.