As the political parties are gearing up for the first phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh and for the final phase in Chhattisgarh, war of words has started between the Congress and the BJP. The BJP has accused the Congress of being ‘Chunavi Hindu’ and has attacked the Congress of visiting the temples during election time to attract majority vote bank.
During the campaign the BJP too is taking the credit of building Ram temple in Ayodhya which will be inaugurated next year. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi could be seen chanting shlokas for Lord Ram. On the other hand, BJP star campaigners have been attacking the Congress of ignoring Ram temple and Hindus and terming the Congress as anti-Hindu. The BJP has also accused the Congress on Ram Setu and asking questions on the existence of Lord Ram.
The Congress, on the other hand, has not fallen on BJP’s turf. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, while addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh, questioned ”Who is BJP to give certificate of Hindu.” Kharge addded that his name is Mallikarjun Kharge which means Malika as Shiva and Arjun added to it.
The Congress has been following a soft Hindutva line in elections. Its leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi make it a point to visit holy places and shrines during campaigning to take blessings and send a positive message to majority voters. Even Rahul Gandhi took a break from election campaigning and went to Kedarnath for three days .
Post-2014 elections the political scenario has changed and the BJP has aggressively pushed Hindutva and cultural nationalist issues which indeed have helped the BJP to expand its vote bank.
The Congress and even other regional parties too understand this change post-2014 elections that they can’t ignore the majority vote bank which has tilted towards the BJP.
Even a committee formed by the Congress to assess the 2014 debacle stated that the BJP won because the Hindu vote bank was unhappy with the Congress.