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NEW DELHI: In a major gaffe, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi has entered the Congress leaders’ name in the register of non-Hindu visitors to Gujarat’s famed Somnath temple.
Congress party’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi made the goof-up on Wednesday when Rahul Gandhi was paying a visit to the Somnath temple ahead of a two-day campaign tour in the poll-bound state. While writing the name of Congress MP Ahmed Patel, who was also part of Rahul’s entourage, in the special register for non-Hindus visiting the temple, Tyagi also jotted down the Congress vice-president’s name.
A famous pilgrim place of Lord Shiva, the Somnath temple is barred to non-Hindus, who must obtain permission from the temple authorities to enter the sacred place.
While Rahul arrived at the Somnath temple earlier this afternoon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a public rally at Prachi, a town barely 25 kms away from the temple.
Taking a swipe at Rahul for his stopover at Somnath temple, PM Modi remarked that his great-grandfather and India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had been opposed to the building of the shrine.
“Today some people are remembering Somnath, I have to ask them – Have you forgotten your history? Your family members, our first Prime Minister, was not happy with the idea of a
being built there,” PM Modi said at a rally in nearby Prachi.
The ancient temple was already the cynosure of media attention owing to the high profile campaign rallies scheduled in its vicinity on Wednesday. At such a time, Tyagi’s flub was posted on social media, where it went viral. ‘Somnath temple’ quickly rose to the list of top trends on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Rahul’s visit to the Somnath temple is the latest in a long line of temple tours over the last few weeks as part of his Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra. The Gandhi scion has faced fire from the BJP for these pilgrimages, which the saffron party claims are a pre-poll stunt to garner votes.
Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi are on a campaign blitzkrieg in Gujarat
, which goes to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14.