Congress president Rahul Gandhi is trying to counter BJP’s Hindutva plank by adopting new soft Hindutva poll stretagy, for which he is yet to be settled. While earlier in Gujarat and Karnataka, he tried by visiting prominent Hindu temples and Maths, in Madhya Pradesh he became a `Ram Bhakt Pandit’ to launch his party’s poll campaign. Last week, it may be recalled he became `Shiv Bhakt’ in this state.
He started 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, where he chief flagged off the poll campaign in Vindhya region. Dotting the Chitrakoot and Satna towns, he was accorded reception by party cadre with posters stating as ‘Ram Bhakt Pandit Rahul Gandhi.’
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 this 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.
As usual, Rahul mostly concentrated attacking Prime Minister Narenra Modi governance, particularly on the Rafale deal. Once again, he has dubbed Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as a ‘Ghoshna Machine’ (machine of announcements) and Modi as ‘Jhooth ki Machine’ (Lie Machine) for his false promises to the masses.
The major poll promise, Rahul Gandhi is making is to replace Narendra Modi’s flagship tax reform of GST. He promised to replace the NDA’s Gabbar Singh Tax with the real GST. “We will implement one tax at lowest rates,” he added.