Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday visited the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar as he kickstarted his three-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat. The Gandhi scion also made a visit to Ambaji temple on the first day of his visit.
After arriving in Gujarat Saturday morning, Rahul Gandhi went straight to Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, and offered prayers to Lord Swaminarayan. The video of him praying at the temple was also shared on social media.
Rahulji at Swaminarayan Mandir (BAPS), Gandhinagar pic.twitter.com/bXcrL6iBUr
— Shaktisinh Gohil (@shaktisinhgohil) November 11, 2017
Following his visit to the temples in the poll-bound state, the Gandhi scion claimed victory for the reduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on more than 200 items. He added that he would continue the fight for capping the tax at 18 per cent, and promise that the Congress party would ensure the same if it came to power.
Coming down hard on the Modi government, Gandhi tweeted: “India does not need a Gabbar Singh Tax. We want a true GST. Congress, along with the people of India, fought for and ensured reduction in items in 28% bracket. Next we will fight for one rate, with a cap at 18%. If BJP doesn’t do it, Congress will.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, targeted the Congress leader over his visit to temples, saying he was doing so just to target Hindu votes.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had said, “Why is Rahul Gandhi visiting temples only ahead of elections? People know their intention that they want to get votes through such gimmicks. They have no inclination for devotion as during Rahul Gandhi’s earlier trips, he never visited any temple.”
“We wish that Congress sheds its pseudo-secularism and respects mainstream Hindutva. But their gimmicks to get votes will not work in Gujarat,” Patel added.
The Congress hit back at the BJP, saying people would teach the ruling party a lesson as it was opposing a visit to temple.
“Does anybody have a patent on devotion? They are opposing a visit to the temple. People of Gujarat will teach them a lesson,” Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said.
“Rahul Gandhiji has visited a Jain temple and gurudwaras apart from Hindu temples. We believe in secularism,” he said.
Gandhi had started his campaign in Gujarat with a visit to the renowned Dwarkadheesh temple in September.
The state goes to polls next month on December 9 and 14.