Congress president Rahul Gandhi embarked on a mega road show in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal on Monday. Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia accompanied the 48-year-old Gandhi on the tour of the city.
The road show, called Sankalp Yatra by the Congress, was flagged off from Lalghati Chowk near Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport. Gandhi and other Congress leaders boarded an open bus which passed through the older parts of the city.
Thousands of Congress supporters waved party flags and raised slogans hailing Gandhi as the road show passed through areas like Royal Market and Peer Gate of the city.
The road show will cover around 18 km before culminating at BHEL Dussehra Maidan. Gandhi will then address party workers. This is Gandhi’s first visit to Bhopal since he became the party chief.
Gandhi greeted supporters during brief stops. The Congress chief and other senior Congress leaders were seen having snacks at a roadside stall and posing for selfies with supporters.
In a clear effort by the party to reach out to Hindus, life-size cut outs of Gandhi pouring water on a Shiv lingam were erected along the route of the road show.
Workers of the Congress party are hailing Gandhi as a Shiv bhakt, highlighting his recent trip to Kailash Mansarovar. In fact, Gandhi reportedly started the road show after blessings from Hindu priests.
Rahul Gandhi’s road show comes as Madhya Pradesh gears up for Assembly Elections to be held later this year along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
For the last 15 years since December 2003, the BJP has been in power in the state with current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan serving his third term, including two full terms.