New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to continue with his temple run in Madhya Pradesh as he will kick off his two-day visit to the poll-bound state on Thursday by offering prayers at the famous Kamta Nath temple in Chitrakoot, a religious town closely associated with Lord Ram.
This will be Rahul’s second visit within a span of 10 days to the BJP-ruled state, where Assembly elections are due this year-end.
The Kamta Nath temple in Chitrakoot, Satna district, is located on Kamadgiri, a forested hill where, according to mythology, Lord Rama stayed during his exile.
During his last visit, the party’s Madhya Pradesh unit had bestowed a title of ‘Shiv Bhakt’ on the Congress president – a move seen as an attempt to woo the Hindu voters ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections. Posters were put up in Bhopal, calling Gandhi a ‘Shiv bhakt’ (devotee of Lord Shiva).
The state BJP has ridiculed the party’s “religious makeover” move as a pre-poll exercise, saying that “this is the same party which questioned the existence of Lord Rama”.
Gandhi will reach Chitrakoot from Allahabad by a helicopter and start his tour of Rewa and Satna districts after offering prayers at the temple, said state Congress media cell vice-president Bhupendra Gupta.
The Congress president would address a meeting at Chitrakoot before leaving for Satna, where he is scheduled to address a public gathering, Gupta said.
Later in the evening, the Congress chief will leave for Rewa, where he will hold a roadshow, he said.
On Friday, Gandhi would travel by a bus to address public meetings at Saipur Mod, Baron, Baikunthpur, Lalgaon and Chunari villages spread over Rewa and Satna, Gupta said.
Party state president Kamal Nath and other senior party leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia , Digvijaya Singh and Ajay Singh, would accompany Gandhi during his visit.
During his earlier visit on September 17, Gandhi held a roadshow in Bhopal after performing a puja and taking blessings from 11 priests.
The 48-year-old Amethi MP visited the state after returning from the Kailash Mansarovar yatra, which he undertook to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva.
The Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003.