Demand for images of Hindu gods on currency sparks war of words between AAP, Oppn. 

BJP says ‘Kejriwal’s Hindu love’ has woken up just before the Gujarat Assembly election; Cong. calls for his resignation for ‘violating’ secular principles enshrined in Constitution 

Updated - October 27, 2022 02:00 pm IST

Published - October 27, 2022 01:20 am IST - New Delhi 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference in Delhi, on Wednesday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference in Delhi, on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: -

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal on Wednesday to print images of Hindu deities on Indian currency notes to “improve the country’s economy” turned into a political slugfest with the Bharatiya Janata Party saying “Kejriwal’s Hindu love” has woken up just before the Assembly election in Gujarat. 

The Delhi Congress also reacted to Mr. Kejriwal’s demands and called for his resignation for “violating” the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution to derive “cheap political mileage” ahead of the election.

Move defended

AAP defended the move with its senior leaders holding back-to-back press conferences and questioned why the BJP was opposing the move. 

Talking about the Gujarat Assembly election and the civic body polls in Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal said those against AAP are “asur (evil)” powers who want to suppress honesty and truth. 

Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri called Mr. Kejriwal’s demand a “new political manoeuvre” and said his “Hindu love” has come to the fore as elections are near. 

“Just a few days ago, a Minister in the Kejriwal government insulted Hindu deities. Due to pressure from the BJP, Mr. Kejriwal had to remove this Minister from the Cabinet in a hurry. Mr. Kejriwal himself had opposed the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. AAP Gujarat unit chief Gopal Italia has also given anti-Hindu statements,” Mr. Bidhuri said.

He added that the public knows that Mr. Kejriwal was now giving such statements only to hide his anti-Hindu sentiments. “If he had faith in goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha then why didn’t he organise Deepavali pujan this year as he had done in the previous years?” Mr. Bidhuri said.

At a press conference, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari termed Mr. Kejriwal’s demand an “unsuccessful attempt” to hide his party’s “ugly anti-Hindu face” ahead of the elections. Mr. Tiwari demanded that Mr. Kejriwal first expel former Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and Mr. Italia from the party to prove that he has respect for Sanatana Dharma. “Mr. Kejriwal, who has so far protected his party leaders who ‘insulted Hindu gods and goddesses’, is now trying to save his face in view of the elections,” Mr. Tiwari said.

Responding to the attack from the BJP, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said in a tweet in Hindi, “These people are opposing Lord Ganesh, Lakshmi because, we have come to know that the Modi government is going to put the photo of Savarkar (on currency notes).”

‘Why hate Hindu deities?’

AAP leader Atishi said,”BJP leaders can hate Mr. Kejriwal but why hate Hindu deities Lakshmi and Ganesh? Do you not want the blessings of our gods to be with the people of the country? I humbly request leaders of the BJP not to oppose this noble proposal. It is not just a proposal from Arvind Kejriwal, but is the proposal of 130-crore citizens of this country.”  

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the BJP’s real face was now out in the open. “The BJP leaders have a problem with Maa Lakshmi and Shri Ganesh’s image on currency notes. CM Arvind Kejriwal’s proposal hasn’t been opposed even by extremist Muslim leaders but these BJP people are opposing it,” he said.  

He said some people were saying that Mr. Kejriwal is an educated person and IIT graduate and why was he saying such things. The AAP leader said topmost scientists, doctors, surgeons and experts offer prayers to goddess Lakshmi on Deepavali. “Why do they pray? Not because they think they cannot earn money and prosperity from their careers otherwise. It is because each one of us needs the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi,” he said. 

Delhi Congress chief Anil Kumar reminded the AAP chief that he assumed a constitutional post as the Chief Minister of Delhi by swearing on the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution. “With his demand, he has lost the confidence of the people of Delhi, which is a mini-India, consisting of people of all faiths, religions, caste and creed, as his statement hurt the feelings and sentiments of all Delhiites,” Mr. Kumar added.

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