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Rahul visits Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya


First visit by Nehru-Gandhi family clan since Masjid demolition in 1992.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday offered prayers at the Hanuman Garhi temple here, becoming the first member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to visit Ayodhya since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Hanuman Garhi is about a kilometre from the Ram temple at the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site. Mr Gandhi, however, stayed away from the site of the shilanyas, the foundation stone laid in 1989 for a Ram temple.

Meets Mahant

Before darshan at the Hanuman Garhi temple, Mr Gandhi met Mahant Gyan Das, known for his anti-Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) stance. The Mahant is a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad.

After the 15-minute closed door meeting, the Mahant said, “Rahul came to seek blessings. If a leader goes to a priest, it is not a big issue. Moreover, when one seeks blessings, one definitely comes for fulfilment of some wish... They seek blessings... We have given blessings... We pray for his welfare.”

Sources said Mr. Gandhi did not speak about any compromise on the dispute, but assured the Mahant that the Congress would stand by the Supreme Court’s verdict.

Modi govt. neglecting farmers, says Rahul

Sharpening his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of farmers’ plight, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the erstwhile UPA government had “waived their Rs. 70,000 crore loans” even when the shape of the country’s economy was not “all that bright”.

“Crude petroleum was being sold at USD 140 a barrel. Government had no money. Still we decided to waive their (farmers’) loans,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi’s meeting here followed his visit earlier in the day to the Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya on the fourth day of his kisan yatra from Deoria to Delhi. He said when the then prime minister Manmohan Singh announced the waiver, BJP members asked in Parliament how the government would manage the money.

“We are determined to work for the sake of farmers unlike the Modi government which neglects them,” he claimed.

Mr Gandhi met students of the Faizabad Public School at Gandhi Park this morning before the beginning of the road show. He also garlanded the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Acharya Narendra Dev in Faizabad.

While he posted pictures of the road show and other events on Twitter, his visit to Ayodhya was not shared on the social networking site.

Crowds gathered to watch as Mr Gandhi’s convoy of cars, buses and open trucks drove into the temple town. The Congress leader is on a ‘mahayatra’ covering 39 districts spread over 55 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. Much significance is being attached in political circles to Mr Gandhi’s visit to Hanuman Garhi.

Mr. Gandhi returned to the Circuit House before starting his road show which culminated in a visit to the Kichaucha Sharif dargah in Ambedkar Nagar.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:43:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Rahul-visits-Hanuman-Garhi-temple-in-Ayodhya/article14630951.ece

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