Temples and cows election issue for Congress, integral part of life for BJP: Rajnath Singh in Rajasthanhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/rajasthan-elections-rajnath-singh-temple-rahul-gandhi-hindutva-icongress-bjp-5475057/

Temples and cows election issue for Congress, integral part of life for BJP: Rajnath Singh in Rajasthan

Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP and the prime minister of exploiting the 2016 Surgical Strikes conducted by the Army for political gains in the UP assembly elections.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh. (File)
Union Minister Rajnath Singh questioned Congress’ intentions of visiting temples. (Express Photo)

As the polling day draw close in Rajasthan, both the BJP and the Congress are once again raking up issues surrounding religion and cow in a bid to appeal voters. Home Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday said that Congress leaders start offering prayers at temples when elections are near whereas for the BJP it is an integral part of their culture, PTI reported.

“Congress leaders start offering prayers at the temple when elections are approaching. They were not seen praying in temples earlier. Temples and cows can be an election issue for Congress, but it is not an election stunt for the BJP. It is an integral part of our cultural life,” he said at a press conference in Bansur of Rajasthan.

The comment comes just a day after Rahul Gandhi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s understanding of Hinduism. At an interactive session in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, Gandhi said, “What is the essence of Hinduism? What does the Gita say? That knowledge is with everybody… Knowledge is all around you. Every living being has knowledge. Our prime minister says he is a Hindu, but he doesn’t understand (the) foundation of Hinduism. What kind of a Hindu is he?”

Rajasthan elections: What kind of Hindu are you, Rahul asks PM Modi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi offer prayers at Mahakaleshwar temple during his two-day tour to Malwa-Nimar region, in Ujjain. (PTI)Gandhi had also accused the BJP and the prime minister of exploiting the 2016 Surgical Strikes conducted by the Army for political gains in the UP assembly elections. In an interaction with members of the business community and professionals in Udaipur, he had said Modi “reached into the Army’s domain and…turned their surgical strike into a political asset”.

Responding to the allegations, Rajnath said, “Why is he saying this now? Why did they not make the Army’s valour and effort public? People have a right to know achievements of Army. He is suddenly realising this now?” “Cong created “crisis of distrust” in politics. There is a difference in their words and deeds,” Singh added. Singh was scheduled to address four election meetings in Bansur, Bilada and Sojat. BJP president Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister, who were also in Rajasthan on Saturday, had also hit back at Rahul’s remarks.

The minister also said that Pakistan should seek India’s help if it cannot handle terrorism alone. “Jammu and Kashmir is not an issue. It is an integral part of the country and will remain so. The issue is of terrorism, and Pakistan can discuss it,” Singh said.

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The polling in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly is set to be held on December 7 and the results will be declared on December 11.