Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday slammed PM Narendra Modi for “quitting Hinduism and imbibing Hindutva”. Sibal, speaking in reference to controversy, said Modi is not even a real Hindu. “How often does PM go to a temple? He has quit Hinduism and imbibed Hindutva which has nothing to do with Hinduism,” Sibal said on PM Modi’s take on Somnath Temple and Jawahar Lal Nehru. “He isn’t a real Hindu. The one who considers every Indian his brother, sister or mother is a real Hindu,” he added. A massive controversy had erupted on Wednesday after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s name was allegedly mentioned in the register meant for non-Hindu visitors entering Somnath Temple.
An image of the puported visitors’ book was shared on social media platforms and has gone viral since then. In the said book, Rahul Gandhi’s entry was made in the register meant for non-Hindu visitors. The entry was reportedly made by a media co-ordinator named Manoj Tyagi. However, Rahul’s signature were not 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.
Three local Congress leaders visited the temple to scrutinise the entry as soon as the news came out. Meanwhile, some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for the incident. Congress addressed a press conference it 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, 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.”
Later, the Somnath temple authorities clarified that that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi did not sign the register maintained for non-Hindus during his visit to the temple. Hours after the controversy erupted over the visit, the temple trust’s Secretary PK Laheri said that Gandhi only put his signature in the visitors’ book and nowhere else. “‘This is an inspiring place’ – is what Rahul Gandhi wrote and he did so in the presence of our general manager Vijaysinh Chawda,” Laheri told the media.
“This is the only place where he signed,” he added. On reports about entry as a non-Hindu, Laheri said: “Such a separate register is being maintained for the last three years for security purposes. “But Rahulji did not sign it, maybe his media coordinator did. I am not sure. There was nobody there. This non-Hindu register generally remains with the security guard,” he added.