Barely months ahead of crucial assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Congress “wants Lord Rama’s blessings”. The party is also planning to organise ‘Ram Van Gaman Path Yatra’. The yatra will be undertaken along a mythical route taken by Lord Rama on way to 14-year exile. “We want Lord Rama’s blessings ahead of the elections,” Congress leader Harishankar Shukla was quoted as sayibng by Indian Express. “We are readying an open rath (chariot) in which Hindu saints will sit. Akhand Manas Path and bhajans will be played throughout the duration of yatra.” While the details of yatra is yet to be finalised, the report says it is likely to commence from Chitrakoot. Shukla is the main man behind this yatra.
With this yatra, Congress wants to take a pot shot at BJP. Congress has accused BJP of swearing by Lord Rama but failing to develop the route after announcing it a decade ago, the report. Shukla also accused the BJP of failing to develop the route and giving up on the project without doing anything on ground. “I will request the party to include completion of the Ram Van Gaman Path in our manifesto,” he said.
However, Shukla’s charges were rejected by BJP leaders. In-charge of BJP’s state culture cell, Kamlesh Sharma said, “Actually I have not taken charge. I have conveyed my reluctance to the party,” he said. BJP spokesman Rahul Kothari has slammed the Congress by calling it a party without any issue. “It’s bent on politicking in the name of Lord Rama,” he said, accusing Congress of thinking about Ram because MP is a Hindu-majority state.
In July, Madhya Pradesh Congress had launched “Jan Jagran Yatra” to counter a mass outreach campaign undertaken by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. On a day Chouhan launched the second leg of his “Jan Aashirvad Yatra” ahead of the assembly polls due later this year, state Congress unit president Kamal Nath said the CM’s campaign would end up as a “Vidai Yatra” (farewell tour) for him and the BJP government.