Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who kicked off the Congress' poll campaign for the Lok Sabha elections by offering prayers at the Lette Hanuman temple near Sangam on Monday, would not be allowed to enter the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Yes! a group of lawyers on Monday handed a letter to the district magistrate, claiming that Vadra should not be permitted to enter the temple as she is a Christian.
The letter pointed at Priyanka's religious belief - Christianity - adding that she should be stopped from entering the temple, in order to preserve the ancient values of Sanatan Dharma. The letter, addressed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, stated that her place of worship was a church.
During her three-day visit, Priyanka is scheduled cover a distance of 100-km by boat in Ganga from Allahabad to Varanasi - the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hopping from one temple to another. As part of her campaign tour, Priyanka will also visit Bhadohi and Mirzapur districts.
Early in the day, the Congress general secretary offered prayers on the banks of Sangam, a confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. In a tweet, Priyanka recalled her memories associated with Swaraj Bhawan, where her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi was born.
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In a similar instance, Indira Gandhi in 1984 was not allowed to enter the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri because she had married a Parsi, Feroze Gandhi. "Only Orthodox Hindus are allowed," a signboard hanging from the Lion's Gate of Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri continues to trigger many a controversy even today.