A restaurant where Congress president Rahul Gandhi ate before undertaking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra – a pilgrimage for Hindus – has clarified that he ate only vegetarian food there.

The clarification came after news reports emerged quoting a waiter at the restaurant as saying that Rahul had eaten chicken before the pilgrimage.

Non-vegetarian food is considered a strict no-no for many Hindus, and especially for those on pilgrimage to holy places.

rahul gandhi
Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan in AprilReuters/Altaf Hussain

The restaurant's statement

The restaurant in question is Vootoo in Kathmandu, Nepal. It describes itself on its Facebook page as "a food boutique specialising in Newari festival food."

The official Facebook page of the restaurant on August 31 posted a photo of Rahul Gandhi, saying: "Indian Congress leader Rahul Ghandi on Friday surprised visit @vootoo_foodvoutique for Newari Food. [sic]"

Soon after, reports emerged that a waiter at the restaurant said he had consumed chicken as part of his meal at the eatery.

The restaurant refuted this on Monday, saying of Rahul and his meal: "We would like to clarify that he ordered pure veg items from the menu."

Read the full post here:

Raging controversy

This was contrary to what a man – apparently a waiter at Vootoo – had been heard saying in a video recorded by a TV news outlet.

The video had shown the man saying that Rahul ordered and ate the Newari Meat Platter and Chicken Kurkure, even reordering one of these dishes.

The BJP had been quick to pounce on this. The party's information in-charge Amit Malviya had even claimed the Congress and Rahul Gandhi had made a habit of hurting the sentiments of the common man in India.

Read his tweet here: