A massive new controversy broke out on Wednesday afternoon after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s name was mentioned in the register meant for non-Hindu visitors entering Somnath Temple, Gujarat. An image of the visitors’ book was shared on social media platforms and has gone viral since then. In this entry, one could see Rahul Gandhi’s entry in register meant for non-Hindu visitors. The entry was reportedly made by a media co-ordinator named Manoj Tyagi. However, Rahul’s signature cannot be seen next to his name in this entry. Rahul was accompanied by Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Sonia Gandhi. His name was also written in the visitors’ book.
As soon as the news came out, three local Congress leaders visited the temple to scrutinise the entry. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party and other right-wing leaders have lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for the incident. Recently, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had attacked the Congress VP by asking Rahul Gandhi to declare his religion. “He should first declare he is Hindu, I suspect he is Christian and has Church inside 10 Janpath,” Swamy had said.
Congress retaliated by holding an emergency press conference where party spokesperson RS Surjewala showed a different register and said that Rahul Gandhi made an entry in this book and not in the one that BJP claims. “Rahul ji made an entry into the visitor’s book, The signature which is being talked of is different,neither it is the signature of Rahul Gandhi nor was this register ever given to him,” he said while adding, “Not only is Rahul Gandhi ji a Hindu, he is a ‘janeu dhari’ Hindu. So BJP should not bring down the political discourse to this level.”
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that the people of Gujarat were demanding answers from BJP. “22 salon ka hisaab, Gujarat mange jawaab (Gujarat demands answers for 22 years of BJP rule),” he had tweeted. Seeking to pin the government down on the issue of housing, Gandhi asked the prime minister whether it would take 45 more years to provide new houses to Gujaratis.
Ambassador Meera Shankar, UPA’s representative in US, had referred to Sonia Gandhi as a Christian leader. The reference was soon deleted. Now Rahul Gandhi declares he is a non-Hindu but their election affidavits claim that they are Hindus. Gandhis lying about their faith? pic.twitter.com/iFE4AhVnRM
— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) November 29, 2017
Giving numbers to buttress his argument, he said, “First question to the prime minister on the state of affairs in Gujarat – In 2012, he promised to provide 50 lakh new houses, but provided 4.72 lakh in five years. Will the prime minister tell whether it will take another 45 years to fulfil the promise?” The prime minister and the opposition leader are in Gujarat today to campaign for their parties ahead of the December 9 and 14 assembly poll.
Rahul Gandhi too is on a two-day tour of the state. The Congress Vice-President will hold public meetings in at least three districts today and tomorrow.