Srinagar, Jan 30: Several Opposition leaders on Monday hailed Rahul Gandhi's leadership, calling him a "ray of hope", and someone who has emerged to "save the country".
In a show of opposition strength and unity, leaders of several national and regional parties braved snowfall and bone-chilling cold to share the stage with Congress leaders at a rally organised to mark the culmination of the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra here.
Leaders and representatives of PDP, NC, CPI, VCK, DMK, IUML, JMM and RSP attended the rally held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium amid tight security and heavy snowfall.
Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah said they see a "ray of hope" in Rahul Gandhi.
Mufti said Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi had said at the time of partition in 1947 that he sees a ray of hope in J&K. "Today, the whole country sees that ray of hope in Rahul Gandhi," the PDP chief said.
Echoing similar sentiments, National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah said the yatra has rekindled the ray of hope in the whole of the country.
Calling upon Gandhi to unite the east of the country with the west through another Bharat Jodo Yatra, Abdullah said he will also take part in that to spread the message of peace, brotherhood and love.
DMK MP Tiruchi Siva said Rahul Gandhi has successfully completed the yatra and reached out to every common citizen, conveying a message that a leader has emerged to save this country.
The DMK-Congress relationship goes back a long time as former chief minister M Karunanidhi and Sonia Gandhi had mutual respect and the same continues with M K Stalin and Rahul Gandhi, he noted.
CPI leader D Raja urged all secular parties to unite.
"We all fought together for independence of the country and liberated the country from the British Raj. All secular parties must come together to liberate the country from this BJP Raj," he said.
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav this yatra was not just physical, but also of the mind, and it had given a new hope to the country.
Sources said some Opposition party leaders could not make it on account of inclement weather. However, some Opposition party leaders had also expressed their inability to be part of the rally due to their preoccupation.