Congress’s Rahul Gandhi made his offerings today at a second Jyotirlinga in Madhya Pradesh, where he is currently leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Clad in dhoti, red angvastram and a set of rudraksh, Mr Gandhi performed all the rituals at the Mahakaal temple in Ujjain this evening. He also took the blessings of Jain seer Pragya Sagar Maharaj in Ujjain.
He was accompanied by party leaders Kamal Nath, Jaivardhan Singh and Jitu Patwari for the rituals at the sanctum sanctorum and the adjacent “Nandi Griha”.
On November 25, Mr Gandhi had offered puja at the temple of Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, where assembly elections are due next year.
“This is a country where tapasvis (ascetics) are worshipped. I have been on a tapasya (penance) for the last three months, But that is too small in front of the real tapasvis — the farmers and workers — who conduct tapasya till the last breath of life,” Rahul Gandhi said in his address after the puja.
“Who are the real tapasvis? The migrant labourers seen in all corners of the country during the Covid pandemic. The workers who work throughout their life,” he said.
But such people, he pointed out, were not receiving what they deserve from the government.
“The farmers aren’t getting fertilizers — even if they get it, it comes at high prices. Neither are they getting the price they deserve for their produce or compensation from insurance companies for crop damage despite paying full premium,” he added.
Then escalating his attack, he said, “The BJP worship god with folded hands, but ruin the future of the real tapasvis – the farmers, workers, small and medium traders and the educated youth”.
The cross-country foot march entered Madhya Pradesh on November 23, when Mr Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her family performed ‘Ma Narmada’ aarti at the famous Omkareshwar temple.
The Congress, which won the 2018 assembly election, had lost power two years later when Mr Gandhi’s close aide Jyotiraditya Scindia changed camp and joined the BJP. The party is now hoping to wrest the state from the BJP.