BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi took time out to address five rallies across Punjab Friday but could not spare time to offer prayers at the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandar Sahib, the Congress said.
Claiming that "Narendra Modi was alien to the idea of India and not at all secular", Congress candidate from Amritsar Amarinder Singh Monday questioned Modi and the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine on why he skipped going to the Golden Temple complex.
Modi did not go to the Sikh shrine, which is visited by millions annually, during his visit here.
"Does paying obeisance at a place like Durbar Sahib go contrary to your beliefs and world view?" asked Amarinder, a former Punjab chief minister.
"It was for the first time that some leader, and that too the one who aspires to be the prime minister of a secular India, avoided paying obeisance at Durbar Sahib, that has its doors open on all the four sides for all the people no matter which race, religion or region they belong to," he noted.
"No matter to which party, religion, race, region or the country you belong, people pay their obeisance at Durbar Sahib and begin their work from there but Modi chose to avoid it for reasons best known to him," he said.
Amarinder pointed out that various heads of states, including the British Queen, have come to offer prayers at Harmandar Sahib.
"People feel privileged and blessed for getting a chance to pay obeisance at this holy place and Modi, in sheer arrogance or out of his communal and sectarian beliefs, chose to avoid it which was not liked by the people here in Punjab," he claimed.
Modi had been criticised earlier for refusing to wear a skull cap, a religious headgear of the Muslim community, when a Muslim leader offered it to him during an event in Ahmedabad some time back.
Modi's election rally for the BJP's Amritsar candidate, Arun Jaitley, had ended around 9.15 pm Friday.