In its zeal to outdo the BJP, the Uttar Pradesh Congress is stepping out of its secular zone and pushing for soft Hindutva.
The party, for the first time, organised ‘kanya pujan’ at its headquarters in Lucknow on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of party veterans.
The ceremony was led by party state president Ajay Rai and Congress Sewa Dal chief Pramod Pandey.
‘Kanya pujan’ is essentially a household practice during Navratri and the ritual is performed particularly by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as the head of Gorakshpeeth.
A veteran party leader and former minister termed the incident as ‘suicidal’ for the Congress.
“The Congress, for some reason, has stopped retaining its earlier secular posture. Either our leaders are going to one extreme in minority appeasement or are now behaving like Hindu priests. I fail to understand whether we remain a political party or are turning into religious heads,” he said.
Earlier, when Rai assumed charge at the UPCC headquarters, the event was marked by reciting of Vedic hymns followed by a symbolic Ganga ‘aarti’.
Another senior Congress leader said that such ‘antics’ would serve to undermine the party’s image as a serious and well-meaning political outfit.
“After all, Ajay Rai also has his roots in the BJP so what else can you expect from him?” he asked.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)