Rahul visits Vaishno Devi. Will Congress’ fortunes finally turn around?

Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader, walked to Vaishno Devi shrine Thursday. It was his 11th pilgrimage within 10 years, going from Vindhyachal, to Vaishno Deva. However, Congress’ political fortunes have not recovered since 2014’s election disaster.

Rahul Gandhi stated to reporters that he had come to offer prayers to Mata, and that he didn’t wish to make political comments. He had been to Vindhyachal and Kashi Vishwanath 2015, Kedarnath 2016 and Hanuman Garhi Ayodhya 2017 during the Gujarat Assembly elections. Also, Mahakal 2018 and Tirupati Balaji 2019, Kamakhya temple in 2021, and now to Vaishno Deva.

After completing the election tour of Karnataka in 2018, he had also visited Kailash Mansarovar and claimed to have been a Shiv Bhakt.

Randeep Surjewala, chief spokesperson for Congress, asked why the BJP is so upset when Rahul Gandhi walks towards the shrine. If the Prime Minister doesn’t want to go, Rahul Gandhi can help.

Although the Congress leader has been known to make pilgrimages, his critics claim that Congress’ political fortunes have not improved since its electoral defeat in 2014. It has lost two consecutive general election and polls in the states it held power. It lost elections to Haryana, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra.

It could win three states ruled over by the BJP in 2018, Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. However, the government of Madhya Pradesh was overthrown after the revolt of Jyotiraditya Skindia. It now has governments in Punjab, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, and is part of a alliance in Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

In addition to electoral losses, Rahul Gandhi was also subject to rebellion. A group of 23 Congress leaders wrote Sonia Gandhi, the interim president of the party, and demanded that she lead the party with effective and visible leadership. Many of Rahul Gandhi’s close friends, such as Scindia and Jitinprasada, left the party. Sachin Pilot rebelled only to return.