The ruling BJP attacked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday over reports about his "gotra", saying he was faking his identity and making a joke of himself.
Dinanath Kaul, a priest at the Pushkar lake in Rajasthan who performed a "puja" for Rahul Gandhi on Monday, claimed that the Congress president's "gotra" was "Duttatreya" and he was a Kashmiri Brahmin.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the entire caste-communal narrative of the Congress in the ongoing Assembly elections (in five states) showed that the opposition party was "bereft of issues and its leader Rahul Gandhi is faking his identity and making a joke of himself".
He went on to compare Rahul Gandhi with controversial preacher Zakir Naik, who has been staying abroad to evade arrest in various cases in India, saying the Congress chief was swinging from being a "Hindu basher" to being "sold" as a "devout Hindu" and it was as farcical as "Islamic bigot" Zakir Naik claiming to be a "paragon of peace".
"In the election season, such cynical attempts show the intellectual bankruptcy of the Congress party and its inability to engage with the BJP on our government's stellar developmental performance," Mr Rao said.
The priest claimed that he possessed old records containing Mr Gandhi's family tree and his ancestors had performed pujas for Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and other members of the family at the Pushkar lake.
The Congress chief had visited the Ajmer dargah and Pushkar on Monday, before addressing rallies in Rajasthan.