Rahul Gandhi protests in Assam for rejecting entering into a TempleTop Stories

January 23, 2024 16:28
Rahul Gandhi protests in Assam for rejecting entering into a Temple

(Image source from: Twitter.com/RahulGandhi)

A political dispute erupted in Assam on Monday after police authorities denied Rahul Gandhi permission to visit a temple in Nagaon district, citing concerns about law and order. Gandhi, who is currently leading the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in the northeastern state, had set out early in the morning to visit Sri Sri Sankardeva Satra, also known as Batadrava Than. This sacred site is the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva, a revered social reformer and saint from the 15th century, and holds great significance for Vaishnavites. However, Gandhi's journey was halted at Haibargaon around 9am.

In response, Gandhi and other party leaders staged a sit-in protest, expressing their discontent. In a video shared by Gandhi on social media, he can be heard questioning the police authorities about the reason behind their refusal to allow him to visit Batadrava Than. He further remarked, "Will Prime Minister Modi now dictate who can visit a temple and when?... We only seek to pray at the temple without causing any trouble." Gandhi also made a subtle reference to PM Modi's recent visit to the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, suggesting that perhaps only one person is allowed to visit a temple on any given day.

For nearly an hour, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi and Batadrava legislator Sibamoni Bora were granted permission to visit the temple for prayer. Gandhi criticized the state government, deeming it "peculiar" that everyone else could go to the temple except for Rahul Gandhi.

On Sunday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, during a press conference, advised Gandhi against visiting the Satra while the Ram Lalla idol at the grand temple in Ayodhya was being consecrated. Later that day, the managing committee of the Batadrava Than also requested that the Congress leader refrain from visiting before 3 pm due to pre-planned events to commemorate the Ram Temple occasion.

After being denied entry on Monday morning, Gandhi stated to reporters that the temple committee had initially invited him on January 11 but rescinded the invitation at the last minute. "Clearly, they were under pressure and received orders from higher authorities," Gandhi claimed. Gaurav Gogoi, the local Congress MP from Kaliabor, after visiting the Batadrava Than, remarked that there was no crowd in or around the premises and that it was completely vacant. According to him, false information and gossip were circulated suggesting that there could have been a potential law and order issue if Gandhi had made a visit to the location.

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Rahul Gandhi  Assam