Uttar Pradesh Congress on Wednesday held a Navratri 'kanya pujan' function at the party headquarters to honour young girls, attracting from BJP the charge of "misusing religion for votes".
UP Congress chief Raj Babbar Babbar held the 'kanya pujan' along with party leaders and workers amid chanting of holy 'mantras' (hymns).
The Congress Sewa Dal claimed it has been organising the ceremony every year in all state districts.
During the function, Mr Babbar offered gifts and food packets to young girls, who are "worshipped" as part of the Navratri celebrations.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Babbar said his party has been giving the same respect to all religions and will continue to do so in future as well.
The BJP attacked the Congress dismissing its claims.
BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said it is "ironical" that the Congress, which has dubbed Hindutva as "bigger threat" than Lashkar-e-Taiba is now holding such functions of religious fervour for "obvious political reasons."
"The Congress has always been seeking votes in the name of religion, caste and region and today's programme proves this beyond doubt," he said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi's Kailash Mansarovar Yatra during August this year and his frequent visits to temples and other religious shrines during poll campaigns too had come in for severe criticism by the BJP in the past.
Seva Dal's state convenor Pramod Pandey earlier said it has always been the policy of the party to respect all religions and it has never sought votes in the name of religion.
Follow NDTV for latest election news and live coverage of assembly elections 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.