Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi alleged on Monday that RSS workers had stopped him from entering a ‘temple’ in Barpeta during his recent visit to Assam. He said this was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.
Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament during a Congress protest over the law and order situation in Punjab, Rahul said: “When I went to Assam, I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. RSS people stopped me from entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates.”
He said women were made to sit at the entrance of the satra, refusing him entry. “Who are they to stop me from visiting a temple,” he asked. He said he visited the ‘temple’ later when RSS workers had left the place.
Assam CM Tarun Gogoi had alleged on Sunday that BJP and RSS had conspired to not allow Rahul to enter Barpeta Satra.
Denying the allegations, Basistha Sarma, burha-satriya (head) of Barpeta Satra, a 16th century Vaishnavite monastery, has said he and many others had waited for over four hours to receive Rahul, but the padayatra led by the Congress leader took a different route that bypassed the monastery.
“There was no opposition to prevent Rahul Gandhi from entering the satra. On the contrary, I was at the gate for nearly four hours, waiting to receive him. Former CM Bhumidhar Barman and several other Congress leaders were chatting with me as I waited,” Sarma told The Indian Express over telephone.
He said Rahul visited the satra after completing his padayatra.
The RSS too said Rahul’s allegation was “totally baseless” and added that Gogoi was trying to cook up a story with an eye on the upcoming Assam polls.