Congress leader Siddhart Kshatriya, whose yatra is scheduled to cover the entire state, accused the BJP of having "insulted Lord Hanuman by calling him, as per convenience, a Jat, a Dalit and a Muslim".
"We will travel to every nook and corner of the state seeking support of common men and women besides sadhus and sants who have been upset with the BJP's buffoonery. We would also seek Rahul Gandhi's blessings when he visits Bihar next month to address a rally", Kshatriya said.
Participants of the "yatra" comprised Congress supporters who chanted "Jai Shri Ram" in a manner reminiscent of Sangh Parivar zealots but peppered it with an additional slogan "Jahan Hanuman Vahan Shri Ram".
One of the most revered deities across the Hindi heartland, Hanuman is said to be the foremost devotee of Lord Rama. The Congress leaders' criticism was aimed at recent statements by a host of BJP leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
BPCC spokesperson and general secretary in-charge for media Saroj Tiwary Kamlendra, however, told PTI "the rath yatra is not an official programme of the state unit of the Congress. But Kshatriya is a party worker and we do understand his sentiments".
"There has been considerable resentment within the party over the BJP's malicious attempts to project the Congress as an anti-Hindu party. Our ideology of caring for and respecting people of all religions has been dubbed as vote bank politics", Tiwary alleged.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)