Jewargi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday defended his visits to temples and religious places, asserting that he would continue it.
“I like going to temples, wherever I get a religious place I go there. I feel good and feel happy and I will continue (to go),” he told reporters.
On a four-day election campaign in poll-bound Karnataka, Rahul was responding to BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa’s “Election Hindu” jibe at him.
During his current tour to north Karnataka, Rahul visited Goddess Huligamma temple, a famous shrine in the region, and Gavi Siddheshwara Mutt, a mutt of the majority Lingayat community.
He also visited a Dargah in Raichur on Monday.
Rahul Gandhi visited a Temple and a Dargah in Kalaburagi earlier today #Karnataka
Congress President Rahul Gandhi pays his respects at the Sharana Basaveshwara Temple, Kalburgi, Gulbarga Congress President Rahul Gandhi paid visit to Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, Gulbarga
Meanwhile, in his brief interaction with reporters, Rahul asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yeddyurappa to inform people about the reasons why ministers during BJP rule in the state had to go to jail.
“When Yeddyurappa and Modi ji speak about corruption, they should inform people that during BJP rule four ministers had gone to jail, Yeddyurappa himself had gone to jail and 11 ministers had to resign. Let them explain about it,” he said
He again questioned the PM about the Rafale fighter jet deal, reiterating his charge that the contract was taken away from HAL and given to Prime Minister’s “friend”.
“Why did you take away the contract from HAL? Why did you take away jobs from the youth of Karnataka? Why did you do this to give it to your friend? What was the logic behind it?” Rahul asked.
Questioning whether the requisite permissions were taken from the cabinet committee on security, he also asked what the aircraft’s price was.
“Earlier Defence minister said she will share the price details to the country. After three to four months she is saying the matter is a state secret. Was it not state secret earlier?” Rahul asked.
Attacking the Modi government for demonetisation and GST, terming it as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax”, the Congress chief said the measures have “shut” all businesses in the country.
Congress now ‘pseudo-Hinduism’, says Javadekar
Meanwhile, questioning Rahul’s temple visits ahead of the coming Karnataka Assembly polls, Union Minister and Karnataka election in charge Prakash Javadekar said Congress was earlier “pseudo-secular” but are now “pseudo-Hinduism.”
“They are changing brands. They were earlier pseudo-secularists, now they are pseudo-Hinduism. People understand which is an election gimmick and which is true devotion,” he said.
Javadekar claimed that Rahul did not go to temples in Delhi when he was elected Congress president, which was the biggest day in his life.
“He goes to temples in Gujarat and Karnataka because there is an election. So it is a vote gimmick. But people are not fools. In our country, illiterate intelligence is very powerful. Robust common sense works and people understand who is a real devotee and who is an election devotee,” he said.
Javadekar took a dig at the ruling Congress in Karnataka, saying that on the one hand its leaders are visiting temples and on the other, brought out a circular from taking and appropriating all temples, mutts, under endowment department.
The circular was later withdrawn hurriedly under public pressure, Javadekar pointed out.