Patna: With polls round the corner, the Congress seems to have gone back to caste politics. The party has put up posters in Patna with leaders’ castes instead of their names. The posters, wherein party president Rahul Gandhi and AICC in-charge for the state Shaktisinh Gohil were thanked for the new state Congress Committee and for “setting an example of social harmony” therein, were put up at various places in the city. (Also read: Cong Attacks BJP on Rafale Deal)

The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee saw new office-bearers appointed to it only last week. In the posters, while Rahul and Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha were described as representing “Brahmin community”, Gohil’s image was labelled “Rajput samuday” (community). Images of campaign committee chairman and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh were labelled “Bhumihar samuday” and “pichhda samuday”, respectively.

While Congress leaders were tight-lipped about the posters, BJP state spokesman Nikhil Anand urged the Election Commission to “take note of the brazen attempt at playing the caste card ahead of the Lok Sabha polls”. “In sheer desperation, the Congress has been resorting to gimmicks like proclaiming Rahul Gandhi as one who wears the sacred thread, worships Lord Shiva and goes to Kailash Mansarovar on pilgrimage. The posters mark a new low in the history of the Congress which Mahatma Gandhi had, rightly, wished to abolish after Independence. The party and its national president should apologise to the nation for the antics while the EC should take note of the attempts to whip up caste and religious feelings and initiate appropriate action,” Anand was quoted by PTI as saying.

The Congress’ “soft-Hindutva” approach becomes increasingly clear as it attempts to counter the BJP’s strong right-wing image. During his Amethi visit earlier this week, there were posters depicting Rahul as “Shiv Bhakt”. He was also greeted by Kanwariyas who gifted him a memento of Lord Shiva.