Congress dials up its Hindutva image in Madhya Pradesh

As the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh comes closer, Congress party is increasing its effort to project its ‘soft-Hindutva’ image, in fact perhaps attempting to drop the ‘soft’ altogether. After Rahul Gandhi’s close aid Randeep Singh Surjewala had declared that Congress has “Brahmin Samaj’s DNA” in its blood, and State Congress president Kamal Nath promised that a Gaushala will be built at every Panchayat in the state, the party has decided to capitalize on the recent pilgrimage by Rahul Gandhi to Kailash Mansarovar. The party has been trying to do an image makeover of the Gandhi family scion by describing him as a Janeu dhaari Hindu, and as a Shiv Bhakt, or devotee of Lord Shiva.

The party has put up posters with photographs showing Rahul Gandhi worshipping a Shiv Ling, with a snow-capped Himalayan mountain peak in the background. The photographs were tweeted by news agency ANI. The posters have been erected ahead of a  roadshow by Rahul Gandhi with which he will launch the party’s campaign for the assembly elections.

Poster showing Rahul Gandhi worshipping Shiv Ling

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It is not the first time the ‘secular’ Congress has tried to project a ‘Hindu Rahul Gandhi’ before an election. The highlight of Rahul Gandhi’s campaign during the Gujarat assembly election was ‘temple run’ of several temples in the state. The same pattern was continued into Karnataka election campaign also.

The party has also put up giant cutouts of several of its leaders in Bhopal, and those cutouts have a notable omission.

Cutouts of Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh, photo by ANI

The cut-out of former chief minister Digvijaya Singh is missing. We have already witnessed a poster war between two leaders of the party in the state, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath. Supporters of both the leaders had put up posters projecting them as future CM of the state. Now omission of Digvijaya Singh in the cutouts add another dimension to the divided house in Madhya Pradesh Congress.

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