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Priyanka Gandhi’s intensifies her temple runs to counter the BJP in Uttar Pradesh

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Chitrakoot: Displaying her strong presence in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Wednesday undertook a five-kilometre ‘maun parikrama’ (going around silently) on bare foot to the famous Kamadgiri Temple in the border town of Chitrakoot, amid sky rocking chantings of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by her party members.

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Her decision to undertake ‘parikrama’ of the Kamadgiri Temple appears to be a well-planned strategy – just months ahead of state assembly polls due in 20221 – as the Temple was revered as the holy embodiment of Lord Rama, who, as per the Hindu mythology, had spent more than 11 years of his 14-year banishment with wife Sita and brother Laxman at Chitrakoot. Furthermore, Lord Rama was also known as Kamtanath, which means someone, who fulfilled the wishes of the people.

During her Chitrakoot visit Priyanka addressed a meeting with women. Earlier too, while being on a visit during the ‘Navratri’ to Varanasi, which is the Lok Sabha constituency of prime minister Narendra Modi, Priyanka had addressed a public meeting sporting ‘tripundra’ (Saivite tilaka on the forehead) and told the people out there that she was on ‘fast’. ”Aaj Navratra ka chautha din hai aur mera vrat hai,” (today is the fourth day of Navratri and I am fasting), the leader had said.

The Congress leader had opened her speech with two Sanskrit ‘slokas’ (couplets of verses) which were chanted especially during the ‘Navratri’ festival to please goddess Durga and made the people chant ‘Jai Mata Di’.

During her visit to Varanasi she had also paid visit to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple and had paid obeisance there besides offering worship at the ‘Kushmanda Temple’. 

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According to Political analysts, Priyanka appears to have decided to use ‘Hindutva’ in her favour to counter the BJP in the forthcoming UP assembly polls.

”She has signalled that she is not averse to the chanting of Jai Shriram by party workers…..she has made it a point to visit important Hindu religious places to launch her party’s election campaign…..whether it helps the Congress in the assembly poll remains to be seen but it will certainly blunt BJP’s attack on the grand old party,” said a Lucknow based political analyst. The Congress leader’s aggressive ‘Hindutva’ appears to have rattled the BJP, which has, of late, indicated that it will prefer to target the Samajwadi Party (SP) rather than Congress in its election rallies.  While the saffron party leaders here sought to make light of Priyanka’s turn to ‘Hindutva’, the state Congress leaders welcomed the change of strategy saying that it would help the party get rid of the ‘pro-Muslim’ tag. ”Now BJP as well as the saffron outfits will find it hard to attack Priyanka,” said a senior UP Congress leader here.

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