Karnataka Assembly polls: Congress accuses Narendra Modi of 'influencing' voters through Nepal temple visits

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to “influence” voters in Karnataka on the polling day through his temple visits in Nepal.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

Modi on Saturday prayed at Nepal's iconic Muktinath temple that is regarded sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, becoming the first world leader to offer prayers there.

He also offered prayers at the Pashupatinath temple, located on the banks of the Bagmati river. The Pashupatinath temple is regarded as the most sacred and oldest temple of Shiva (Pashupati) in Nepal.

Polling is underway in 222 out of 224 seats in Karnataka which is witnessing a three-cornered contest.

Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot alleged that the prime minister had timed his visit to the Himalayan nation on the Karnataka poll date, and was "giving a message to Hindus" in the southern state.

Alleging violation of the model code of conduct, he said Modi's temple visits in Nepal were being aired on the day of polling in Karnataka.

“This is not a good tradition in a democracy. In Gujarat also, he held a road show after voting. Today, he has adopted a new path. When Karnataka is polling today, he has gone to Nepal and is worshipping in temples there, as he could not do so in the southern state due to elections," Gehlot said.

The AICC general secretary said Modi, through his temple visits, was giving out a message to voters in Karnataka of how religious he was and that he was a Hindu.

"If one asks him (Modi), no other person is Hindu, except the BJP and RSS people, besides him and Amit Shah," he said.

On the Nepal visit being planned earlier, the former Rajasthan chief minister reiterated that the prime minister had timed his Nepal visit to coincide with the Karnataka polls.

Follow LIVE updates of the Karnataka Assembly Election 2018 here


Updated Date: May 12, 2018 15:51 PM

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