Political jolt to the Congress in Karnataka however, did not cast its shadow over its president as Rahul Gandhi on Thursday danced to the beats of Chhattisgarh’s traditional folk dance.
Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day visit to Chhattisgarh that goes to the polls in November this year. The visit started on Thursday morning from the tribal pocket of Sarguja, where the Congress president addressed the panchayat representatives and a farmers’ meeting.
The visit was significant, given the late Wednesday evening development in Bengaluru where the Congress’ efforts to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out from forming the government were in vain. B S Yeddyurappa was on Thursday morning sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka - the timing coinciding with the Gandhi scion’s landing in Chhattisgarh.
When Gandhi reached Sitapur, a sleepy town 30 km from Sarguja’s district headquarters, he was accorded a traditional welcome with the famous karma dance. The Congress president joined the group, keeping step with the tribals.
Senior Congress leaders were wary of Gandhi’s mood following the Karnataka song and dance. But their national chief cast off stress and danced to the beats of the Madira (local musical instrument) for a whole 5 minutes.
Gandhi, while addressing the gathering, launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government and the BJP. “The Constitution is under severe attack in the country. Right from the apex court to the media, institutions are under tremendous pressure,” he said. The Congress is fighting against it and will continue since the Constitution has to be protected, he added.