BHOPAL: After his avatar of a ‘Shiv Bhakt’, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi became a ‘Ram Bhakt Pandit’ to launch his party’s poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya region on Thursday.
Rahul began his tour on a symbolic gesture by offering prayers at the Ram Darbar of the famous Kamta Nath temple at Chitrakoot town in Satna district. Flying from Allahabad to Chitrakoot, the Congress chief flagged off the poll campaign in Vindhya region. And, dotting the Chitrakoot and Satna towns were posters welcoming him as ‘Ram Bhakt Pandit Rahul Gandhi,’ speaking volumes about the Congress’ new soft Hindutva poll strategy.
The Vindhya region, which houses 30 Assembly segments, is a Congress stronghold. Out of power in the state since 2003-end, the Congress had won 12 out of the 30 seats here as against the BJP’s 16 seats and the BSP’s two seats in 2013.
Starting the two-day tour to Satna and Rewa districts of Vindhya region from Chitrakoot assumes special significance as the Congress’ planned Ram Van Gaman Path Yatra starts from the same town.
Also, the opposition party’s promise of building the Ram Van Gaman Path to trace the roots of the route of Ram-Sita-Laxman’s exile journey (unfulfilled promise of the BJP) is focused on the same region.
Rahul continued his attack against PM Narendra Modi, particularly on the Rafale deal.
While he once again dubbed CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan as a ‘Ghoshna Machine’ (machine of announcements), he dubbed Modi as ‘Jhooth ki Machine’ (Lie Machine) for his false promises to the masses. “All I can tell you is that we won’t promise you 15 lakh jobs, but whatever our party leaders, particularly Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, promises to do for you will be fulfilled religiously.”
The Congress president also promised to replace the NDA’s Gabbar Singh Tax with the real GST. “We will implement one tax at lowest rates,” he said.
On way to the venue of public rally in Satna town, Rahul faced a group of anti-SC/ST Act protestors who waved black flags at his cavalcade.