New Delhi: With UP elections in mind, Congress Senior Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will start a Mahayatra today from Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
During the 30-day Mahayatra, Rahul Gandhi will cover 2500 kilometres before ending the Mahayatra in Delhi. It is being said that Congress is trying to fight UP elections with a soft Hindutva approach. No wonder, the programme starts with a `darshan' of Lord Nath with full Hindu rituals. After the humiliating defeat in last Lok Sabha elections, an internal report of the party had blamed too much minority focus for the debacle.
So, party this time is trying to change its strategy to win majority votes. The districts of Deoria, Kushinagar and Gorakhpur have a substantial Brahmin population, a caste Congress is trying hard to woo in UP. Rahul Gandhi's Mahayatra will be accompanied by elephants, an animal close to the Hindu majority.
Interestingly, this area happens to be stronghold of BJP's firebrand MP Yogi Adityanath, who is a Rajput. Eastern UP is known for the Rajput-Brahmin rivalry, and by targeting Brahmin votes in this area, Congress is trying to take political advantage of this caste rivalry. Another factor, that Congress is trying to cash is the immense unpopularity of Yogi Adityanath in the minority community because of his extreme Hindutva outlook.
Rahul Gandhi will hold 'Khat Sabha' on the lines of PM Narendra Modi's 'Chai Par Charcha'. `Khat Sabha', essentially means that the senior Congress VP will be sitting on a traditional cot and interact with people, who will also be sitting on these cots. During the 'khat sabha' he will also hold one-to-one interactions with farmers. During his yatra, Rahul Gandhi will try to understand problems of the farmers by collecting 'kisan mangpatras'. Door-to-door campaign is an integral part of Rahul's Mahaytra.
News 24 Bureau