Rahul Gandhi kick starts Congress poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh

The Congress chief will take part in a roadshow and also address party workers during his day-long visit to the state capital Bhopal.

Published: 17th September 2018 02:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2018 01:24 PM   |  A+A-

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (File| EPS)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi began his 14-kilometer roadshow in a secured bus in Bhopal today. Party workers from across the state, thronged Bhopal to welcome Gandhi prior to his journey.

Adding an interesting tinge to the publicity efforts of the Opposition party for the success of Monday’s programme in Bhopal are large hoardings addressing Gandhi as a ‘Shiv bhakt.’

It is not just the hoardings, erected by local party leader Girish Sharma, which describe Gandhi as a Shiv bhakt (devotee of Lord Shiva), with a picture of Kailash Mansarovar in the backdrop.

One of the publicity vans moved across the city on the eve of Gandhi’s visit, with a voice on a loudspeaker repeatedly blaring about Shiv bhakt Rahul Gandhi’s recent Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage and hailing his visit as auspicious as it fell between the Hindu festivals of Ganesh Utsav and Vishwakarma Puja, reflective of opposition party’s soft Hindutva plank in the state where the BJP is in power since more than 14 years.

Mocking the Congress hoardings, state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said, “Let the Congress leader (Gandhi) do whatever he wants, put tilak, wear topi or janeyu, but his party stands exposed before the commoners, who are not going to be hoodwinked by the Congress at all.”

Reacting to BJP’s jibe against Gandhi, state Congress spokesperson Shoba Oza said, “We’re welcoming our young leader in the state capital, for which we neither need BJP’s certification nor their advice.”

Though the Opposition party has denied pursuing any soft Hindutva plank, its recent pre-poll promises, including establishing a gaushala (cowshed) in every village panchayat and also carrying out a Ram Van Gaman Path Yatra shortly, besides building a Ram Van Gaman circuit if it comes to power in the state, have made political circles dub the development a part of well-planned soft Hindutva strategy.

Gandhi, who will arrive in the MP capital at 12.45 pm on Monday will embark on the roadshow in a secured bus from the Lalghati Circle 25 minutes later.

‘30 BJP MLAs eyeing Congress tickets’

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath claimed on Sunday that about 30 legislators of the ruling BJP were seeking Congress tickets to contest the year-end Assembly polls. Nath added that around 2,500 aspirants were eyeing Congress tickets to contest the polls. He said it was not decided if he would contest.

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