Datia: Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who started his tour of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday, offered prayer at the famous Shri Peetambara Peeth temple, which has had an old association with the Gandhi family. Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia were present on the occasion, too.

After reaching the Datia district by helicopter, the Congress leader offered prayers to the deity and spent some half an hour at the shaktipeeth.

Before Rahul Gandhi, his grandmother Indira Gandhi, father Rajiv Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also visited the temple.

Though the Congress organised a trip for Rahul to see the Chamunda Devi temple, the leader expressed his wish to go to the Peetambara Peeth temple first.

 Readers may recall that Rahul Gandhi had grabbed news headlines during the Gujarat election campaign for his newfound love for Hinduism, heading a party that had lost the 2014 election due to the public perception that the party was anti-Hindu -- according to an internal assessment report by AK Antony. At that point, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala had claimed his party president was not just an ordinary Hindu but a "janeu-dhari Brahmin".

Subsequently, during the Karnataka election campaign, Gandhi was questioned again for what his detractors ridiculed as his "temple run", invoking the name of a popular video and mobile phone game.

Madhya Pradesh, having a pronounced Hindu vote, seems to have made the Congress renew its strategy to woo the community.

Three months ago Pandit Radhavallabh Survariya, a dikshit of the Peetambara Devi Peeth, came to Delhi and invited Rahul to visit the temple.

The Congress chief is expected to address a public meeting later in the day. Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls on November 28.