Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday that his party started the Bharat Jodo Yatra because all democratic routes in the country have been shut by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad made the comments in Madhya Pradesh, where the party’s mass movement reached on Wednesday.

“What I want to say is, we started the Bharat Jodo Yatra because all democratic avenues are shut,” Gandhi said. “The Lok Sabha, the electoral route, the press, everything is closed. The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and the BJP have put their people in all the other institutions.”

He also alleged that the judiciary is also under pressure from the Centre.

“So we thought there is only one option, hit the road, embrace the people, listen to the farmers, listen to the labourers, the small traders, and join them,” he added.

Gandhi, who was joined by senior party leader Kamal Nath at Burhanpur, also talked about how the BJP in Madhya Pradesh toppled the Congress government in 2020 by poaching its MLAs.

“We won the election in Madhya Pradesh,” Gandhi said. “It was our government. But they [BJP] paid crores to 20-25 corrupt MLAs and bought them and formed government.”

On March 20, 2020, Nath had stepped down as the chief minister of the state, 15 months after being elected to power. The Congress government in the state was left in a disarray after 22 of its MLAs quit following the resignation of senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who later joined the BJP.