Bhopal: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, 17 September, launched his party’s campaign in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, which is known to be a Bharatiya Janata Party bastion, with a massive roadshow in Bhopal.

The 15-km-long route where the roadshow is being held saw posters proclaiming Gandhi as a devotee of Shiva, reported PTI. The roadshow, which saw Gandhi ride in an open vehicle, will culminate at the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd’s Dussehra Maidan, where he will interact with party cadres.

“A T-shape ramp has been constructed near the stage from where Gandhi is going to take questions from party workers and interact with them,” state party spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi told reporters.

Besides, Gandhi is going to address a meeting of Congress workers, which will be open to the public, before leaving in the evening, he added.

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

Meanwhile, security was tightened in the city in view of Gandhi’s visit, Bhopal Inspector General (IG) of Police Jaideep Prasad told PTI.

“We have got an extra force of 1,500 policemen who have already been deputed.” – Jaideep Prasad, Bhopal Inspector General (IG) of Police

Asked about the possibility of protests during the Gandhi’s visit, Prasad said they have not yet received any inputs in this regard.

“All steps are being taken to maintain law and order. I am personally monitoring the security arrangements and the routes Gandhi is going to pass through,” he said.

Congress workers arrived in Bhopal from all over the state to welcome the party chief and take part in the meeting.

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