The result of the upcoming elections in 5 states whose dates have been recently announced by the Election Commission is going to be a vital plank on which different political parties would like to mount their strategies for the approaching decisive Loksabha 2019 battle. Madhya Pradesh Congress has, therefore, started its poll preparation by attempting to woo Hindu voters by staging another temple run for Rahul Gandhi.
If banners are anything to go by, Congress has taken a decisive shift in Madhya Pradesh by projecting its PM candidate Rahul Gandhi as ‘Shiv Bhakt’, ‘Ram Bhakt’ and ‘Narada Bhakt’ simultaneously in order to pander to the differing sects under the overarching fold of Hinduism. Tending to depart from their usual hack, the Congress party didn’t invoke secularism as their election campaign in MP kickstarts.
Congress struck with its projection of Secularism from 2003 to 2018 but remaining out of power for the last 15 years has taught them a thing or two. In 2003, under Digvijaya Singh, the party had brought ‘Habib Tanveer’ to stage ‘Poonga Pandit’ throughout the state. The party lost terribly even as the BJP accused them of disparaging Hindus and instigating communal riots by demeaning Hindu pandits through ‘Poonga Pandit’. Their strategy didn’t change much in 2008 and 2013 resulting in their embarrassing losses against the BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chauhan on both the occasions.
Congress has promised to develop MP into a religious hub if voted to power. Senior Congress Minister and their alleged CM candidate Kamal Nath said, “BJP uses religion only for political gain but Congress will truly develop the state into a religious tourism hub.”
A senior Congress leader said, “In last 5 years Rahul Gandhi has learned to answer the BJP in its language. He is actively countering BJP’s Hindutva with more Hindutva. No one can now say he is an anti-Hindu. He is strategically attacking Narendra Modi not only on the issues of corruption, inflation, and unemployment but also on Hindutva.”
According to the sources, Rahul Gandhi is going to embark on a ‘Holy Trail’ in MP, starting from Chitrakoot after offering puja at Kamtanath Temple. Rahul Gandhi is supposed to follow the path that Lord Ram took while he was in exile. The Congress delegation under Harishankar Shukla with sadhus is presently tracking the route.
Congress would do well to not underestimate the intelligence of the people of Madhya Pradesh. Earlier, in past, when Rahul Gandhi went on a temple spree in Gujarat and Karnataka and China, his blatant attempt to feign saffronisation was debunked and his campaigns were marred with controversies.
On visiting Somnath Temple in Gujarat, Congress President Rahul Gandhi registered his name under the non-Hindu column. In another instance, just a week back, Rahul Gandhi’s party expelled a party worker for chanting “Har Har Mahadev”. Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are also accused of corruption in the National Herald case and are currently out on bail.