Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was denied entry into the Sri Sri Sankar Dev Satra temple in Assam’s Bordua on Monday, January 22, after the temple trust allegedly told him that he could only go inside once the consecration at the newly-inaugurated Ayodhya Ram temple was over. According to reports, the temple trust asked the Congress leader to come after 3 pm, post the conclusion of the consecration.
Rahul Gandhi was visiting the temple ahead of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. In a video of the incident, he can be seen questioning a security official and stating, "What is the issue brother? Can I go and see the barricades? What mistake have I made that I am not allowed inside the temple? We are trying to go to the temple. We were invited, and now they are telling us that we can't visit."
He further said that the party was not going to do anything forcibly and would continue with the Yatra, and asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi now decides who can visit a temple.
“Maybe, today, only one person can go to a temple in this country,” he added, referring to the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration ceremony.
In response to the incident, the Mahila Congress staged a protest at Haiboragaon, where the cadre was stopped, with Rahul Gandhi joining himself.
Speaking to the media, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “We live in a democratic country. But here, even the local MP Gaurav Gogoi is being stopped. This is injustice." According to him, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi had taken permission from the Batadrava Than management on January 11 to visit the temple. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier reportedly asked Rahul Gandhi not to visit the temple so as to avoid competition between Lord Ram and the local deity.
Congress Working Committee member Supriya Shrinate attacked the Assam government for hindering the faith of Rahul Gandhi. “We wanted to go to the shrine (birthplace of saint Srimanta Sankardeva) peacefully. They have always tried to be a middleman between us and our God,” she added.