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Posted at: Oct 13, 2017, 7:19 PM; last updated: Oct 13, 2017, 7:19 PM (IST)

Visiting temples won’t get votes, only hard work will: BJP to Rahul

Visiting temples won’t get votes, only hard work will: BJP to Rahul
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi participates in a programme at a Kabir Temple in a village in Dahod district on Wednesday. PTI

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 13

Facing allegations that it “pressured” the Election Commission into delaying the announcement of poll dates for Gujarat, the BJP on Friday challenged the Congress to “fight properly” in Gujarat.

Targeting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who has been making waves with his “Vikas has gone mad” campaign in the state, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said only hard work will get him votes and not visits to the temples.

Notably, Gandhi’s visits to temples in Gujarat are being seen as an attempt to dent the BJP’s long-maintained “Hindutva” poll plank.

Making light of the visits, Prasad said paying obeisance to Gods alone will not fetch votes for the Congress party.

“I am getting curious as Rahul Gandhi is visiting temples and paying obeisance to Gods with sincerity. I am told that social media has highlighted that local leaders told him about how to do ‘aarti’.

“Rahul Gandhiji, paying obeisance to gods does not get you votes. Your work gets. It is necessary to know what your government had done to Gujarat. The Congress conspired to cause as much difficulty as it could to stop Sardar Sarovar project from completion,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi had recently inaugurated the project that aims to bring irrigation and drinking waters to parts of the state.

The BJP believes it will prove to be a winner for its prospects in the upcoming polls in the key state.

Meanwhile, Prasad also advised Gandhi to learn some ‘bhajan-kirtan’ now that he had started visiting temples.

On Congress’ criticism of the EC decision, Prasad said “such attacks and allegations against Constitutional bodies are uncalled for”.

The Congress has termed as “irregular” the EC announcing poll dates yesterday only for Himachal Pradesh and not Gujarat.

The Opposition believes this was done to allow Prime Minister Modi to make some big announcements during his visit to the poll-bound state next week, which would not have been possible had the model code of conduct been enforced.

However, as per Prasad, the elections to the two states—Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat—were held on separate dates in both 2007 and 2012, when the Congress was in power at the Centre. 

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