Rahul stopped from visiting Assam temple, asks if PM Modi will decide who will visit temple

Nagaon: High drama prevailed in Assam’s Haiboragaon on Monday after authorities did not allow Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to visit the Sri Sri Sankar Dev Satra temple in Bordua near here.

Gandhi and other Congress leaders were stopped at Haiboragaon and not allowed to proceed further. The former Congress chief was scheduled to visit and pay his obeissance to the local deity before starting his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on Monday.

Mahila Congress leaders subsequently sat on a dharna to protest against the denial of permission to Gandhi to visit the temple. The former Congress chief also joined the dharna.

Authorities said Gandhi will be allowed permission to visit the temple only at 3 PM.

Gandhi questioned the police on why he was being stopped from visiting the temple.

“Will PM Modi now decide who will visit a temple and when,” Gandhi said.

“We do not want to create any problems, simply pray at the temple,” Gandhi told the police authorities.

Tight security arrangements, deployment of a huge police force, and blockade of roads was in force around the Sri Sri Sankar Dev Satra temple.

Barring the local MP and MLA, no Congress leader was allowed to travel beyond Haiboragaon, around 20 km from the temple spot. Even the media team was not allowed to travel beyond Haiboragaon.

Congress Sewa Dal chief Lalji Desai said it was “shameful” that the prime minister and Assam chief minister were not allowing them to pray at the temple.

“This is atrocious. Unfortunately, the prime minister will decide who will pray at what time in the country,” he said.

“Till the time the prime minister does pooja (in Ayodhya), no one is allowed to pray anywhere,” Desai claimed.

“There is no ‘loktantra’ (democracy) here and the government will decide when people will pray at temples,” he said.