New Delhi/Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s temple visits in Nepal were a violation of the poll code on a day Karnataka voted, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said today.
“As there is model code of conduct in Karnataka, PM Modi planned to pray at temples in Nepal instead, just to influence voters. This is not a good trend for democracy. Why did he only choose today as the day?” Mr Gehlot said, alleging that the Prime minister had timed his visit to try and influence voters.
The Congress’s Siddaramaiah, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, said the PM’s temple visits proved that the party is nervous. “It clearly shows that Modi came to know that BJP would be defeated. That is why he visited temples. I do too, but not every day.”
Voting took place across 222 constituencies in Karnataka today. The Election Commission has put off polling in two seats; in one seat, the BJP candidate died, and in the other seat, there have been allegations of rigging attempts after nearly 10,000 voter ID cards were found in an apartment in Bengaluru.
The results of what is widely predicted to be a close election battle will be declared on Tuesday.
Both the state’s ruling Congress and the BJP have fought a bitter campaign in the state, with Rahul Gandhi and PM Modi targeting each other in rival rallies.
PM Modi, who addressed several rallies in the last few days of campaigning in Karnataka, is on a two-day visit to Nepal.
PM Modi today became the first world leader to offer prayers at Nepal’s iconic Muktinath temple, revered by Hindus and Buddhists. According to the foreign ministry, PM Modi offered prayers at the life-size golden statue of Lord Vishnu at the temple located at an altitude of 3,710 metres in the mountainous Mustang district.
He also visited the famous Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, the most sacred and oldest temple of Shiva in the country.
The prime minister signed the visitor’s book and was gifted a replica of the temple.