New Delhi: The Congress has described the controversy around Rahul Gandhi's visit to Somnath temple as a "hellish conspiracy" and a "cheap forgery" by a desperate BJP that feared defeat in its fief.
Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala said: "Rahul wrote in the official register given to him by the temple authorities - 'A very inspiring place.' He wrote his name Rahul Gandhi, his address and signed. Suddenly another screenshot came into circulation which was signed by Manoj Tyagi, who is the party's media coordinator."
Surjewala added: "Tyagi was asked to sign in a register for entry of media personnel into the temple along with Rahul Gandhi. This signature was used to create the controversy as Rahul and Ahmed Patel's names were mentioned in the non-Hindu category. The name written was 'Rahul Gandhiji'. They can't even do forgery properly. Who will write his name with 'ji'? It is unthinkable they can stoop that low. People will hate this kind of dirty politics."
Surjewala said Rahul was not only a Hindu but a " janeudhari (sacred-thread-wearing)" Hindu, adding that the BJP should not bring down the political discourse to such a level.
He released photographs of Priyanka Gandhi's wedding and Rajiv Gandhi's funeral to prove his point. The spokesperson condemned a section of media for playing an active role in executing the low-level conspiracy.
Many Congress leaders expressed shock over the dirty tricks being deployed in Gujarat election. A few days ago, a fake resignation letter of Congress Gujarat chief Bharatsinh Solanki was circulated on social media. A fake list of Congress candidates too was released to create confusion and divisions.
The Congress has repeatedly warned of the BJP's desperation to divert attention from real issues, and a message that Rahul is not a Hindu will doubtless be a potent ammunition.
The Congress was obviously rattled, holding two media conferences on the issue.
Before Surjewala spoke, spokesperson Deepender Hooda said: "This exposes the BJP's bankruptcy. They can't answer questions about people's concerns and hence they resort to such conspiracies."