The historic Somnath Temple in Junagadh district of poll-bound Gujarat is the centre of attraction today. Around the same time that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was visiting the temple, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was attacking his great grandfather and India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Rahul resumed his Gujarat campaign by visiting the Somnath Temple in the afternoon.
The Congress announced his tour for today in a tweet. With the hashtag “Congress_Aave_Chhe (Congress is coming)”, it said, “Rahul Gandhi returns to the campaign trail in Gujarat. He will begin with seeking blessings at Somnath Mandir, and continue on to the districts of Visavadar, Savar Kundla and Amreli.”
On the other hand, PM Modi also tweeted his programme for the day. He informed that he would address public meetings in Morbi, Prachi, Palitana and Navsari.
Rahul’s visit to Somnath and Modi’s public speech in Prachi almost coincided.
In his speech, Modi attacked Nehru addressing him as Rahul’s great grandfather, his father Rajiv Gandhi’s “nana” (maternal grandfather) and his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s father.
Naming Nehru, the prime minister said the first prime minister had created hurdles in the construction of the Somnath Temple.
“Nehru was against the restoration of Somnath Temple. When Sardar Patel invited first President of India Rajendra Prasad to Somnath, Nehru wrote a letter to the latter to express his displeasure,” Modi said.
The prime minister sought to belittle Rahul’s visit to the Somnath Temple. He tried to convey to the people that the Congress leader’s visit is a farce.
He contrasted Rahul’s visit to Somnath to the hindrances that had been created by Nehru in the restoration of the temple.
Modi spoke in Gujarati to connect with the people.
On his first visit to his home state on November 27 after the announcement of elections, Modi had addressed four rallies. He spoke exclusively in Gujarati in all of them.