Priyanka Gandhi Visits Hanuman Temple in Ayodhya, Keeps Away from Disputed Site
The temple visit marked the end of a 50-km road show from Kumar Ganj, during which Priyanka Gandhi interacted with supporters at several places, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being pro-rich and anti-farmer.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra prayed at the popular Hanuman Garhi temple.
Ayodhya: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra prayed at the popular Hanuman Garhi temple here but kept away from the makeshift Ram Lalla shrine, in a visit Friday to the epicentre of a decades-long dispute.
While Priyanka Gandhi was inside the Hanuman temple, Congress and BJP supporters briefly clashed outside, shouting slogans.
The temple visit marked the end of a 50-km road show from Kumar Ganj, during which she interacted with enthusiastic supporters at several places, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being pro-rich and anti-farmer.
At a nukkad meeting, she charged that Modi had ignored his own Varanasi constituency, fuelling speculation that she might even chose to contest against him there in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
In a brief interaction with the media, she countered Modi's charge that the remarks by Congress leaders make many in Pakistan happy.
Pakistan mein biryani khane ke liye to woh gaye thhe naa (It was he who went to Pakistan to eat their biryani), she said, in an apparent reference to the prime minister's Lahore visit in 2015.
The visit to Ayodhya, where the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site is located, came on the last day of her three-day trip to Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, she travelled to the family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
The Hanuman shrine darshan' is the latest in a series of temple visits by Priyanka Gandhi, who is in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh for her party.
But the party had indicated that she would not visit the Ram Lalla temple located on the disputed site.
Local Congress candidate Nirmal Khatri was among those accompanied her into the 18th century Hanuman temple.
As she offered prayers, local residents and sadhus' gathered outside.
A group of BJP supporters tried to show a black flag, and chanted Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi (Modi everywhere).
Congress supporters countered with their `chowkidar chor hai' slogan, calling Modi a thief. There were some scuffles and a lathi-charge, officials said.
We used light force to disperse the mob, Faizabad City superintendent of police Anil Singh Sisodia said.
Hanuman Garhi temple mahant Gyan Das said he wished the Congress leader well. Priyanka Gandhi will get the blessings from Hanuman Garhi, he said.
Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, said the visit was a matter of her personal belief.
But this is a political stunt. No work has been done by the Congress for the development of Ayodhya, he added.
A local college professor Anurag Mishra said, We were eagerly waiting to see how she would react on the Ayodhya issue, but she avoided it.
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