Rahul to launch campaign from temple town

Rahul to launch campaign from temple town

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. PTI file photo

Like in Karnataka in May and in Gujarat before, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election will be marked by temple-hopping.

He is scheduled to launch the campaign from the famous Omkareshwar temple — one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country.

The Congress chief is also likely to visit other famous temples, including Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, Ram Raja temple in Orchha, Pitambara Peeth in Datia, Pashupatinath temple in Mandsaur, Sharda Mata Temple in Maihar (Satna) at different times while campaigning for the party in the state.

The Congress campaign will start from Omkareshwar sometime in August end with a bus-ride along with state Congress leaders.

Rahul Gandhi's BJP counterpart Amit Shah launched the party's campaign in Madhya Pradesh from Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain on July 14 by flagging off the chief minister's Jan Ashirvad Yatra.

AICC general secretary and Madhya Pradesh in-charge Deepak Bavaria said on Tuesday that the decision to launch the Congress campaign from Omkareshwar was taken in a meeting in New Delhi.

Rahul had called the meeting of state Congress leaders to discuss the party's poll strategy for the forthcoming Assembly election and to assess the impact of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s ongoing Jan Ashirvad Yatra.

MPCC president Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijay Singh, former PCC chief Arun Yadav and Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Singh attended the meeting.

Bavaria said Kamal Nath will announce the exact itinerary and other details of the proposed bus-yatra in Bhopal.    

Kamal Nath is scheduled to kick off the campaign from the temple town of Maihar in Satna district on August 1.

He had paid obeisance to Lord Mahakal in Ujjain soon after he assumed the charge as PCC chief in May.

Digvijay Singh and  Jyotiraditya Scindia, known to be deeply religious Congress leaders, have made it a point to visit local temples wherever they are going to galvanise party workers across the state in the run-up to the election.   

Sources in Congress said Rahul's temple visits were derided and branded as peddling soft Hindutva.

But, during his 10-week-long campaign in Gujarat, the Congress president visited 27 temples and won as many as 18 seats in these constituencies.

Of the 18, Congress had wrested 10 from the BJP, which shows that the Rahuls' temple run worked for the party.

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