Facing allegations by the Opposition of following a policy of appeasement, the Congress government in Rajasthan seems to be changing its stand before the Assembly polls 2023. Some of its ministers are seen walking on the roads with kanwariyas while holding a Kanwar in their hands while other ministers are seen pouring water on Shivlings during the holy shrawan month.
This has left its own workers confused as the initiatives seem to be a part of a strategy where ministers are seen following the Hindutva ideology to take on the saffron party in the next polls. The BJP is seen to be on a winning spree in the country with its Nationalism and Hindutva model.
State minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas recently participated in the Kanwar Yatra in his assembly constituency of Civil Lines, holding the Kanwar in his hands.
Sources said that Singh gave a political message by participating in the Kanwar Yatra that he stands with the majority community.
The state's Devasthan department has also become active in the last few months as different types of activities have started here.
Minister Shakuntala Rawat, heading the department, is busy performing religious rituals in the temples on behalf of the department.
A recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa was organised in temples in Jaipur post the Karauli violence. Now during the month of Shravan, on every Monday, Sahastra Ghat Mahaabhishek is organised in the major Shiva temples which sends out a strong political message.
"In the midst of these programmes, the picture of Jalabhishek by Muslim MLA Safia Zubair with Shakuntala Rawat further strengthens the political strategy," said a Congress leader. He told IANS that the Congress is making a fresh beginning to retain a foothold among the majority Hindus who are being influenced by the BJP ideology.
The state government has been facing criticism from the opposition for allegedly following a policy of appeasement.
Incidents of communal tension in the state have allowed the Opposition to accuse the ruling Congress of following a policy of appeasement.
The imposition of Section 144 (restricting gatherings) before Ram Navami in a few districts is also being seen as part of the state government's appeasement policy.
Further, the order of the state government directing officials to ensure regular water supply during Ramzan bolstered this impression as there was no mention of Navratri in the order even though Ramzan and Navratri were falling together in the same month.
The opposition has been attacking the state government and lobbying for the majority Hindus.
Now, the Congress seems to be taking on the saffron party head-on and has decided to practice open Hindutva as it doesn't want to lose assembly polls 2023. Hence, comes this paradigm shift, said an insider on condition of anonymity.
When the Opposition is marching ahead with its hard Hindutva, we can at least try to move ahead with soft Hindutva, he said.