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I don’t need a certificate from BJP to visit temples : Rahul Gandhi

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Ujjain. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is on a temple-visiting spree in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, said that he does not require a certificate from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to visit temples.

“If I feel like going to a temple and offering prayers to God then I will definitely visit it. I don’t need a certificate from the BJP. I am not a ‘Hinduwadi’ leader, but a nationalist leader. I am a leader of every religion, every caste, every language and every class,” Gandhi said on Tuesday.

The statement comes a day after the BJP launched a scathing attack on the Congress chief, saying he was engaged in “fancy dress Hinduism”. Gandhi retorted and said, “Are the country’s temples the sole property of the BJP and the RSS ? Have only Modi and Shah got the contract to visit temples?”

Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day campaign run in Madhya Pradesh, interacted with journalists in Indore and said that when the prime minister and the BJP president visit temples wearing traditional attire, no one questions them but when Congress leaders do that they are accused of fancy dress Hinduism as reported by Indian Express.

Gandhi said, “When Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and I wear clothes as per the temple’s tradition, it is said that we are exhibiting fancy dress Hinduism,” he said.

Hours after Gandhi’s temple visit, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra had alleged, ” Rahul Gandhi is exhibiting fancy dress Hinduism continuously. To mislead the Hindus, he is sporting a “janeu” (sacred thread) over the shirt. We demand that ‘janeudhari’ Rahul Gandhi clarify to which ‘gotra’ (clan) does he belong to.”

“I understand Hindu religion better than the BJP does,” Gandhi said, adding that he visits mosques, gurudwaras, churches and other places of worship as he respects every religion.

Describing Hinduism and Hindutva as two different concepts, he said, “Hinduism is a liberal and progressive concept that teaches love and respect for others, while there is hatred, insecurity and anger in the foundation of the BJP’s idea of Hindutva,” PTI reported.

Attacking the ruling party in the state, Gandhi said that no one can claim ownership over Hinduism, no one group can have a monopoly over it, however, “BJP has ownership of Hindutva.”

“When I visited temples during the Gujarat elections, the BJP went mad thinking how did I go there, although I had been to temples earlier. I had also visited Ayodhya,” he said.

Targetting the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state, the Congress has also alleged large-scale corruption through e-tendering in Madhya Pradesh.

It has claimed massive irregularities in grant of state government procurement and other works through a website developed by two private IT companies. The ruling party has rejected all these allegations.

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