Gujarat elections: Temple visits by Rahul Gandhi, soft Hindutva on display

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Believe it or not, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has visited at least six to eight famous temples during his four-phase Navsarjan Ytara. Rahul Gandhi, who is faring well of late in social media, also backing his persona with a religious touch.

In the first phase of the Navsarjan Yatra Gandhi tried to play the soft Hindutva card, visiting temples and shrines in the Patidar-dominated Saurashtra region. He began the yatra from Dwarka after seeking the blessings of lord Dwarkadheesh and Shankaracharya of Sharda peeth.

The second phase was about ensuring that Congress's traditional vote bank does not slip away. In the third phase, Rahul covered 30 Assembly constituencies across Bharuch, Tapi, Navsari, Valsad and Surat districts in south Gujarat.

The fourth phase of Navsarjan Yatra has begun with the visit to Akshardham temple on Saturday and will end at Ambaji temple.

The BJP criticised the move, saying Gandhi was visiting Hindu temples just ahead of elections to get votes.

"Why Rahul Gandhi is only visiting temple ahead of elections. People know their intentions that they want to get votes by such gimmicks. They have no inclination of devotion as during Rahul Gandhi's earlier trip he never visited any temple," Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar. Courtesy: @INCIndia

Krishna temple in Valsad

Krishna temple in Valsad

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi offers prayers at the Lord Krishna temple during his roadshow, in Valsad, Gujarat. PTI file photo

Kabir Temple at Saliya village

Kabir Temple at Saliya village

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi being presente a memento after he offered prayers at a Kabir Temple at Saliya village in Dahod district. PTI Photo

Bhajan at Saliya village

Bhajan at Saliya village

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi participates in a programme at a Kabir Temple in a village in Dahod district on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Khodaldham temple in Rajkot

Khodaldham temple in Rajkot

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi offering prayers at Khodaldham temple in Rajkot district. PTI file photo

Chamunda Mata Temple

Chamunda Mata Temple

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visits Chamunda Mata Temple, Chotila in Surendranagar. PTI photo

Chamunda Mata Temple, Chotila

Chamunda Mata Temple, Chotila

Temple priests gifts a religious otem to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visits Chamunda Mata Temple, Chotila in Surendranagar. PTI file photo

Dwarkadhish Temple

Dwarkadhish Temple

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi offers prayers at Dwarkadhish Temple, Dwarka in Gujarat

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