Congress' big 'Hindutva' push: Fasting, Kanya Pujan on the cards this festive season
New Delhi, Oct 4: Come this festive season and the Congress is all set for a major 'Hindutva' push which is part of the narrative it is trying to build ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress is planning to organise Kanya Pujan and Phalahari meet across big cities in Uttar Pradesh around Dussehra-Diwali period.
Apart from attacking the ruling government over Rafale deal, fuel price hike and falling rupee, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been working towards what is being called as 'soft Hindutva'.
The Congress is trying to ensure that the BJP cannot lay sole claim on the Hindu vote bank.
A News 18 report, while quoting sources in the Congress, says that Rahul has told workers to make use of this festive season to establish a connect with the people.
"Fasting during the Navratras also develops patience and tolerance which will be needed to counter the politics of hate by the BJP. We will be intensifying our move near festivals of Dussehra and Diwali. We will be seeking blessings of the fasting people by holding functions of Kanya Pujan and Phalahari meet. Our aim is to make the voters aware of the difference between religion and politics," reports quoted UP chief of Congress Sewa Dal, Pramod Pandey, as saying.
Rahul has been trying for quite sometime now to send a larger message of being a devout Hindu as part of Congress' soft Hindutva strategy.
During the Gujarat and Karnataka elections, Rahul was seen in temples and at one time even wore a rudraksh. The party had said Rahul and his family were Janayeu dhaari.
Rahul reportedly made around 30 visits to temples during his campaign trail for Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017. In September, he went for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra which was in line with his "I am a Shiv bhakt" claims.
This 'Hindutva' strategy may work for Congress provided that the traditional Muslim voters stay with the Congress and if Rahul's antics strike a chord with section of Hindus who are disenchanted with the Modi rule.
But then, there also a risk that Rahul is taking. What if his so-called Hindu appeasement temple sprees and 'Shiv Bhakt' claims do not go down well with the Muslims. It is not that Rahul has not been trying to woo the Muslims, but there is a possibility that his over-enthusiasm about soft Hindutva may leave the minorities irked.
A glimpse at Rahul Gandhi's temple visits:
Rahul Gandhi at Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysuru, Karnataka
Rahul Gandhi, along with former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, visited Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysuru in March this year.
Rahul Gandhi in Shringeri, Karnataka
Rahul Gandhi visited Shringeri Sharadamba Temple in Chickmagalur in March this year ahead of Karnataka elections.
Rahul Gandhi with tudents of the Veda Pathashala in Shringeri
Rahul Gandhi interacted with the students of the Veda Pathashala at the Sringeri Mutt, Chikmagalur, in March this year.
Rahul Gandhi at Gavi Siddeshwara Mutt in Koppal, Karnataka
In February this year, months before Karnataka assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi visited several temples across the state. (Image credit - ANI/Twitter)