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Rahul Gandhi's visit to the Somnath temple today got mired in a controversy after his name was found written on the entry register meant for non-Hindus, with the Congress calling it "fake" and BJP insisting that the leader declare his religious faith before people.
Gandhi, on the campaign trail in Gujarat for the Assembly polls, began his two-day visit to the state after offering prayers at the famous temple.
Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple but have to first get themselves registered at the shrine's office.
A purported photocopy of the page of the register for non-Hindus with names of Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel written on it went viral on social media soon after their visit.
The signature against their names was that of the Congress party's media coordinator Manoj Tyagi.
"This is fake. Tyagi was made to sign on a blank paper of the register for media entry and later the names of Rahul Gandhi and others were added in the register," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
"This is a conspiracy of the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a trustee of the temple trust," he said.
Surjewala said Gandhi signed the visitors' register where he wrote that the place was "inspiring".
The Congress spokesperson said Gandhi, during his recent trips to Gujarat, had said he was a devotee of Lord Shiva.
The BJP, however, demanded that Gandhi declare his religious faith before people.
"He should make his faith clear to the people of this country after the controversy?" BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said.
The temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, is located around 400 km from Ahmedabad.