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  1. Gujarat polls 2017: Rahul’s name on register for ‘non-Hindus’ at Somnath temple sparks row

Gujarat polls 2017: Rahul’s name on register for ‘non-Hindus’ at Somnath temple sparks row

Rahul Gandhi's visit to the Somnath temple today got mired in a controversy after his name was found written on the entry register meant for non- Hindus, with the Congress calling it "fake" and BJP insisting that the leader declare his religious faith before people

By: | Published: November 30, 2017 8:36 AM
Rahul Gandhi’s name in non-Hindu register sparks row (Source: PTI)

Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Somnath temple today got mired in a controversy after his name was found written on the entry register meant for non- Hindus, with the Congress calling it “fake” and BJP insisting that the leader declare his religious faith before people. Gandhi, on campaign trail in Gujarat for the Assembly polls, began his two-day visit to the state after offering prayers at the famous temple. Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple but have to first get themselves registered at the shrine’s office.
A purported photocopy of the page of the register for non-Hindus with names of Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel written on it went viral on social media soon after their visit. The signature against their names was that of the Congress party’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi.
“This is fake. Tyagi was made to sign on a blank paper of the register for media entry and later the names of Rahul Gandhi and others were added in the register,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
“This is a conspiracy of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a trustee of the temple trust,” he said.
Surjewala said Gandhi signed the visitors’ register where he wrote that the place was “inspiring”. The Congress spokesperson said Gandhi, during his recent trips to Gujarat, had said he was a devotee of Lord Shiva.
The BJP, however, demanded that Gandhi declare his religious faith before people. “He should make his faith clear to the people of this country after the controversy?” BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said. The temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, is located around 400 km from Ahmedabad. In New Delhi, another Congress spokesperson Deepinder Hooda said there is only one visitors’ book at Somnath Temple that was signed by Rahul Gandhi and any other image being circulated is fabricated. Rahul Gandhi made an entry in the right register, where he also mentioned that the temple “is a very inspiring place”.
“The entire country knows that Rahul Gandhi is a staunch Shiv ‘bhakt’. Now Rahul ji being an ardent Shiv bhakt believes in the path of truth and truth is with us. So we shall prevail,” he told reporters.
He alleged the BJP engineered the controversy so that there is a “certain kind of polarisation” during the Gujarat Assembly polls which is “dangerous” for the country.

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