Rahul calls himself Kashmiri Pandit

Last Updated 27 November 2018, 01:44 IST

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday revealed his "gotra" (caste) as a 'Kaul Brahmin' (Kashmiri Brahmin) while performing puja on the ghats of the Sarovar lake in Pushkar.

According to a document signed by the Congress chief in the ancient Brahma Temple in Pushkar, Rahul says he is a Kaul Brahim and performed the puja under the Dattatreya Gotra.

Priests Deenanath Kaul and Rajnath Kaul, who are also Rahul's family priests, were present during the puja and they confirmed his family lineage from ancient records. 'Kaul' is a surname used by Kashmiri Pandits.

At the register at the temple, Rahul wrote: "Vande Mataram! I Rahul Gandhi, son of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, have happily come to Pushkar for puja ceremony today on 26/11/2018. My heart is filled with joy after performing rituals by family priest Dinnanath Kaul and Rajnath Kaul. I pray for calm and peace in India and the world."

The revelation by Rahul comes as a response to the ruling BJP, who wanted him to reveal his caste. Rahul had earlier claimed to be an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and a twice-born Hindu (janeu dhari).

The register also has the entries of visits by all members of the Gandhi family, from Motilal Nehru to Jawarlal to Rajiv to Sonia.

The book reveals that Rajiv has visited the temple thrice and Sonia twice. Rajiv last visited the temple in May 2, 1991 — three weeks before the assassination. He was accompanied by Congress leaders Shiv Charan Mathur and Ashok Gehlot.

Rahul is in Pushkar to kick-start his campaign in the state and is making an attempt to woo both Hindu and Muslim voters.

He paid respects at the 13th-century dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, where he was accompanied by Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

At the dargah, a traditional 'khadim' (cleric) made him perform 'ziyarat' at the dargah. Thousands of devotees and Congress supporters had assembled outside the shrine to get the glimpse of Rahul.

Abdul Jarar Chisthi, chief Khadim at the dargah told DH, "The Gandhi family has always visited the dargah regularly. Rahul has visited dargah thrice, once with his grandmother Indira Gandhi, later while he was Congress vice president, and this time as Congress president. We prayed for his well-being and gave good wishes to his party in upcoming polls".

Later in the day, he addressed public meetings in Pokhran and Jalore and Jodhpur.

(Published 26 November 2018, 14:11 IST)

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