New Delhi: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Saturday told the Lok Sabha that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was denied entry to Shankardev temple in Assam on January 22 because non-Hindus are not allowed to enter that temple.
Dubey was replying to the question asked by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi why Rahul Gandhi was stopped from entering the temple.
During a discussion on the consecration of Ayodhya Ram temple in Lok Sabha, Gogoi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the countrymen to visit the temples in their neighbourhood on the consecration day.
Gogoi alleged that Rahul Gandhi was stopped because Modi did not want to share the screen with him.
As soon as Gogoi finished his speech, Dubey intervened and said, “Article 26 of the Constitution of India says that it will not interfere with any religion and places of worship. Whatever happened in that (Shankardev) temple, that was nothing to with the Constitution,”
“If non-Hindus are not allowed to enter (Shankardev) temple then how can Rahul Gandhi enter,” Dubey asked.
Then Gogoi was heard saying Nishikant jee, you are confused and you are not aware.
Rahul Gandhi was denied permission to visit the birthplace of Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva in Nagaon district on January 22 following which he along with other senior party leaders sat on a dharna.
Gandhi also claimed that authorities didn't give him any reasons for stopping him.
Later, Gogoi and Batadrava MLA Sibamoni Bora visited the Satra and offered prayers, prompting Gandhi to attack the state government, saying: "This is strange as there is a law and order situation in the area but Gaurav Gogoi and all can go. Only Rahul Gandhi cannot go."
Sankardeva is an Assamese saint-scholar, social-religious reformer, poet, playwright and a towering figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam from the 15th-16th century.
NewsDrum could not find any information about any restriction on non-Hindus’ entry to the Shankardev temple.
Dubey's statement was also not corroborated by the managing committee of the Sri Sankardeva Satra as it said Gandhi would not be allowed only till 3 pm on January 22 establishing that there was no "non-Hindu" angle.
On January 21, the managing committee announced that they will not allow the Congress leader to visit the Satra before 3 pm on January 22, after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at a press conference requested Gandhi not to visit before the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.