Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the Centre is making excuses to stop the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Gandhi made the statement after Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday wrote a letter to the party, asking it to stop the march if Covid-19 protocols are not followed.

“They wrote a letter to me saying Covid-19 is coming, so stop the yatra,” Gandhi said. “They [Bharatiya Janata Party] are scared of the strength and the truth of this country. This yatra will travel till Kashmir.”

Mandaviya had also sent a copy of the letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying that three MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party from the state had raised concerns that the Congress’ countrywide campaign could lead to the spreading of the coronavirus disease.

Gandhi and his Bharat Jodo Yatra entourage were in Rajasthan till Tuesday and entered Haryana early on Wednesday.

Mandaviya had requested Gandhi and Gehlot that Covid-19 protocols, including the use of masks and sanitisers, be strictly followed during the march and only those who are vaccinated be allowed to participate.

His letter came amid a “sudden spurt of cases” of Covid-19 cases in neighbouring China.

On Thursday, Congress leader Salman Khurshid said that the party would follow all Covid-related guidelines, but will not suspend the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“The government is scared of this Congress yatra, that is why various orders and letters are being issued,” he said, according to PTI.

The 3,570-km Bharat Jodo Yatra began in Kanyakumari on September 7. The Congress says that the march is aimed at countering the politics of division espoused by the Bharatiya Janata Party.