Taking a jibe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s recent tour of temples in Gujarat, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday asked him to first prove that he is a Hindu.
“He should first declare that he is a Hindu,” Swamy quipped. Intensifying his attack on the Congress no. 2, the firebrand BJP leader further said, “I suspect he is a Christian and has a Church inside 10 Janpath.
The remarks from Swamy were made a day after after Rahul Gandhi wrapped up his three-day visit to Gujarat during which he visited several temples across the BJP-ruled state and offered prayers there.
Rahul Gandhi’s temple visit was seen as the young leader’s desperate bid to break his party’s anti-Hindu image. Rahul’s visit to various temples was aimed at countering the hardline Hindutva campaign of BJP, RSS, claimed Congress.
The BJP hit back by saying that the Gandhi scion’s temple visit was just an eyewash and had nothing to do with Hindus. He was doing so as Congress was not winning elections, the BJP said.
The Congress Vice-President kicked off his tour after offering prayers at Dwarkadhish temple on Monday. During his Gujarat visit, Rahul Gandhi had visited Chotila temple in Surendranagar district, Khodal Dham temple in Kagvad village, Jalaram temple in Veerpur in Rajkot district.
During his visit, Rahul also made a scathing attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST), demonetisation and farm loan waiver.
Rahul Gandhi wrapped up his three Gujarat, but before doing so he offered prayers at four temples on Wednesday. It looked as though he was showcasing soft Hindutva and his party said that this was aimed at countering the RSS and BJP. Rahul Gandhi However, the ruling BJP took a dig at Gandhi, saying the Congress vice president was visiting temples as his party has failed to win elections in the state for long time.
In New Delhi, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram deprecated attempts at reading any political meaning into Gandhi’s visit to temples. Gandhi, who had kicked off his tour after offering prayers at the Dwarkadhish temple on Monday, resumed his road-show on Wednesday by trekking up the famous Chotila temple in Surendranagar district. Starting his tour from Rajkot on Wednesday morning, Gandhi came to Chotila, the first stop, and began the steep climb immediately.
He climbed around 1,000 steps in about 15 minutes without a break. After he had offered prayers, the priests apprised him of the importance of the shrine. The Congress leader climbed down the stairway in another 15 minutes, greeting devotees on his way back. In the evening, Gandhi visited Khodal Dham temple in Kagvad village to offer prayers to Khodiyar Mata, the reigning deity of the Leuva Patel community.
A section of Patels are up in arms against the state’s BJP government over their demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. On his arrival, Gandhi was greeted by a large number of Patidars, who chanted their signature slogan – ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’ to welcome the Congress leader. On his way to Jetpur from Kagvad, Gandhi also paid a visit to a temple dedicated to Dasi Jeevan, revered by Dalits and Buddhists. He also made an unscheduled visit to another shrine– Jalaram temple–in Veerpur in Rajkot district.