Rahul Gandhi pays obeisance at Golden Temple in Amritsar
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here, during an unscheduled visit to the city.
It was his first visit to Punjab after the Congress stormed to power in the state following the Assembly elections, the results of which were declared in March.
Gandhi reached Darbar Sahib after 4 pm and spent nearly one-and-a-half-hour in the temple complex here.
He did not take VIP entry facility and stood in the queue along with other devotees for about 20 minutes to reach sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple.
"He spent nearly one and a half hour in the Golden Temple and paid obeisance. He stood in the queue along with devotees and did not obtain VIP entry facility," said Amritsar (North) MLA Sunil Dutti, who accompanied Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress vice president also interacted with many devotees and obliged to requests of clicking selfies with them.
"Rahul Gandhi also spent 25 to 30 minutes outside the sanctum sanctorum. He sat with the 'sangat' and listened to Gurbani (religious hymns)," Dutti said, adding, "He came as a devotee not as a politician."
However, Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla, who had also accompanied Gandhi, said the SGPC should have given a 'Siropa' (rob of honour) to the Congress vice president.
Rahul first performed 'Parikarma' and then offered 'Karah Prashad' at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. He also bowed down before the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat for Sikhs) .
The scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family also took water from the 'sarovar' (holy tank) and sprinkled it on his face as per Sikh 'maryada'.
"He was on private visit," party sources said.
Rahul visited the holiest Sikh shrine four days after the 33rd anniversary of the Operation Bluestar. No big leader from the Congress, except Aujla and Dutti, was present along with him. He also did not talk to media.
While going back, Rahul's plane returned minutes after taking off at 6 pm from Amritsar airport because of bad weather.
The plane finally took off at 8:30 pm, Aujla said.