The controversy over Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Barpeta Xatra refuses to die down. After his return to Delhi, the Congress vice-president had gone hammer and tongs against the Sangh Parivar for inciting female devotees to prevent his entry to the hallowed Vaishvite mostery. The media reported his comments thus: “When I went to Assam, I wanted to visit the Barpeta temple. The RSS people stopped me from going into the temple. This is the way BJP operates. They put women in front of me and prevented me from going in.” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi meanwhile had gone on the offensive by accusing the RSS of ‘infiltrating’ the xatras to carry out a divisive political agenda. But now the elder Xatradhikar of Barpeta Xatra along with its magement officials have exposed the lie. Footages of three CCTV cameras stationed on the open space in front of the Xatra have been furnished by the officials, with Rahul Gandhi not visible in any of the frames. So if the Congress vice-president was nowhere near the front of the Xatra, how was he ‘blocked’ from entering it at the gate? The elder Xatradhikar has revealed that he too waited for four hours at the open space in front of the Xatra to greet Rahul Gandhi, after he heard through loudspeakers that the Congress vice-president was to start his padayatra from that point. But he did not appear, and it was much later that the Xatradhikar learnt about the 7-km padayatra beginning farther away and culmiting with a rally at Medhirtari. What comes through clearly is that the Congress vice-president has made a complete hash of his attempt to put the blame on the RSS-BJP for a decision taken by State Congress leaders. He was neither near the entrance of the Xatra, nor had women devotees prevented his entry — as he alleged while talking to jourlists outside Parliament. Chief Minister Gogoi and other Congress leaders have spoken about prior ‘intelligence inputs’ about an RSS plot to put the Congress vice-president in an awkward position, but that hardly covers for this falsehood. While blaming the saffron parties for indulging in commul politics in the State, it is the Tarun Gogoi regime that is tying itself up into knots by bringing in the religion factor whenever that suits its interests.
Let the truth out