'Shiv bhakt' Rahul Gandhi to launch his mega Madhya Pradesh campaign today

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to launch his partys poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh, known to be a BJP bastion, with a road show in Bhopal on Monday

Bhopal: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to launch his party’s poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh, known to be a BJP bastion, with a road show in Bhopal on Monday.

Life-size cutouts and huge posters describing Gandhi as a devotee of Lord Shiva have come up in the city. In the posters, Rahul Gandhi is seen pouring holy water on ‘Shivalinga’.

After his arrival at the airport, Rahul Gandhi will seek the blessings of more than 11 Hindu priests, state party spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi told news agency PTI on Sunday.

The Congress chief will then embark on a 15-kilometre-long roadshow in an open vehicle from Lalghati Chowk close to the Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal. He will later address party workers during his day-long visit to the state capital.

Gandhi's roadshow will conclude at Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd's Dussehra Maidan, where he will interact with party cadres, Chaturvedi added. Besides, he is going to address a meeting of Congress workers, which is open to the public, before leaving in the evening, he further said.

Ahead of the visit, Congress has put up posters and banners in Bhopal describing the 48-year-old party chief, who just returned from a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar, as a 'Shiv bhakt'.

Security has been tightened in the city in view of Gandhi's visit, Bhopal Inspector General (IG) of Police Jaideep Prasad said. "We have got an extra force of 1,500 policemen who have already been deputed," he said.

"We are expecting more than one lakh Congress cadres in the state capital," a police officer said.

Meanwhile, a BJP leader said party chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a function in Bhopal on September 25. Earlier, a visit by Shah to Ujjain district on September 12 was put off.

"It was a tentative programme of Shahji that has been postponed as he along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to grace a function on September 25 here," state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said.

Preparations are underway to make the September 25 event a huge success, Agrawal added.

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