Somnath temple: Rahul's sign in "non-Hindu" list, Congress cries "fake"
Ahead of the Gujarat elections, Rahul's temple-hopping led him to Somnath temple. However, this visit was mired in controversy. Non-Hindus are required to register their names in the temple's visitors' book; someone allegedly entered Rahul's name in that book, kicking up a storm. Subsequently, Congress issued a clarification calling the signature "fake." Later, the issue ballooned with BJP asking Rahul to clarify his religion.
Entry to the Somnath temple has traditionally been barred for non-Hindus; they require special permission to visit the temple and are supposed to register their names. Somnath Trust's PRO Dhruv Joshi said "Ahmed Patel, Rahul Gandhi's names were entered in non-Hindu register by Rahul's media coordinator Manoj Tyagi." The BJP pounced on this issue, questioning Rahul's faith.
This alleged gaffe prompted Congress spokesperson Deependra Hooda to clarify that the sign is "fake." Dangling a copy of the visitors' book before the media, Hooda questioned why Rahul would refer to himself as "Rahulji." Calling Rahul a "Shiv Bhakt," he said BJP is diverting attention from "real issues." Congress in overdrive asserted that Rahul is "not only a Hindu, but a janeu-dhari Hindu."
BJP RS MP Subramanian Swamy immediately latched on to the issue claiming that Rahul is a Christian who attends church every Sunday. BJP spokesperson Samit Patra demanded clarity about Rahul's religion. Former CM Anandiben Patel mocked Rahul for his temple visits during this election campaign. She said "Thanks to Modiji, Rahul has visited 21 temples in Gujarat."