Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today offered prayers at the famous Chotila Temple in Surendranagar district, as he started his third and last day of the campaign tour in poll-bound Gujarat.
Gandhi climbed around 1,000 steps to pray to Goddess Chamunda at the hill-top temple.
Two days back, he had started his campaign in the state, where the Assembly polls are due later this year, by paying a visit to the famous Dwarkadhish Temple in Saurashtra.
Later today, Gandhi is scheduled to visit Khodal Dham Temple in Kagvad village to offer prayers to one of the reigning deities of the Patel community.
A senior state Congress leader said Gandhi’s visit to various temples during the campaign is aimed at countering the BJP’s “hardline Hindutva stand”.
Gandhi started his tour from Rajkot this morning and came to Chotila, the first stop of his campaign tour today, and began the steep climb immediately.
He climbed around 1,000 steps in about 15 minutes without taking any break.
After he offered prayers, the priests apprised him of the importance of the religious place.
Later, the Congress leader came out of the temple and climbed down the steps in another 15 minutes, greeting devotees on his way back.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi alleged that the party was deliberately projected as anti-Hindu by the BJP and the RSS.
“Rahul Gandhi’s visit to various temples during his tour is aimed at countering the hardline Hindutva campaign of BJP and RSS,” Doshi said.
“The RSS and BJP have deliberately tried to portray the Congress as anti-Hindu which is not true,” he said.
However, a state BJP leader said Gandhi was visiting temples as his party was not winning elections.
“Rahul Gandhi has started visiting temples and shrines as his party is not winning elections in any state since many years,” state BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said.
Yesterday, Gandhi attended a garba event organised by MLA Indranil Rajyaguru in Rajkot and performed the ‘aarti’ of goddess Durga at the venue during night.
“The day ends well with garba in Rajkot,” the Congress vice president had tweeted.
Today, Gandhi is scheduled to visit other towns and villages during his tour till Jetpur via Jasdan.
During last two days, Gandhi made several attacks on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issues of GST, note ban and farm polices during his public addresses.
He had also invoked Sardar Patel’s legacy to woo the Patel community ahead of the crucial state polls.
Gandhi had also expressed confidence about his party winning the Assembly elections, claiming that there was a strong undercurrent in favour of the Congress in Gujarat.