Mumbai: Barely has Congress president and Shiv bhakt Rahul Gandhi set off on his Mansarovar yatra, ostensibly to offer thanks to Lord of Kailash after his aircraft had a close shave, the question doing the rounds is: What was on Rahul’s table at Kathmandu’s Vootoo restaurant on August 31? Chicken kurkure, apparently.
Or not, going by the restaurant’s clarification on Facebook: “There has been plenty of inquiry from the media regarding the food ordered by Rahul Gandhi, President of Indian National Congress, during his visit at Vootoo. We would like to clarify that he ordered pure veg items from the menu. Vootoo has not given any statement to any media regarding the food items ordered by him. Thank you.”
Whether the presiding deity of Mount Kailash, who was summoned to swallow the ‘halahala’ poison churned up during the mythic ‘Samudra Manthan’ by the Devas and Asuras and who accepted the meat offerings made by a hunter in devotion, would mind this alleged transgression of a bhakt is a question, the answer to which will remain up in the air. Closer to the ground, apparently, the local media in Nepal clamoured to know what their celebrity visitor had eaten on his stopover. A waiter from the restaurant reportedly told them how Rahul Gandhi had stopped by with three or four aides, ordered the Newari platter and had especially relished the chicken kurkure, even asking for seconds.
Naturally, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were quick to swallow the bait. BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya declared that the Congress and its chief had made it a practice to hurt Hindu sentiments and beliefs. “Rahul Gandhi ate non-veg during Kailash Mansarovar yatra, tells restaurant waiter,” Malviya tweeted. In the run-up to the Karnataka assembly polls, the BJP had likewise indulged in what the research scholar from TN would have dubbed as ‘food fascism’, alleging that he had eaten chicken before visiting a temple.