Photographs shared on social media on Saturday showed chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s name being displayed by a formation of children at Independence Day celebrations in Delhi, provoking a strong reaction from the BJP.
The BJP described the incident at Chhatrasal Stadium, where Kejriwal’s name was formed by children using placards and handkerchiefs, as a “misuse” of Independence Day celebrations. The Delhi unit of the BJP sought an apology from Kejriwal, the head of the Aam Aadmi Party.
The BJP also accused the AAP government in Delhi of using public funds for “self-glorification”.
Reacting to the charges, the AAP government confirmed Kejriwal’s name figured in the display but denied this was done on the instructions of the chief minister’s office. The government said the children had also displayed other messages such as “Welcome” and “Thank You”.
Delhi's transport and labour minister Gopal Rai said the AAP government did not like the idea of having Kejriwal's name displayed at the event. But, he added, they found out it's a common practice to have the chief minister's name exhibited in such a manner.
The AAP even released photographs of similar displays of the names of former chief minister Sheila Dixit and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.
One of the photographs went viral on Twitter after Delhi law minister Kapil Mishra tweeted it, saying: “Students have written name of @ArvindKejriwal using placards at Chhatrasal stadium.”
Social media users criticised the banner and some even described it as a blatant display of Kejriwal’s “narcissism”.
Kejriwal's former party colleague Prashant Bhushan tweeted: "From crs on personality cult promoting Kejriwal ads to "Jai Ho Kejriwal" instead of Jai Hind. Shameful Megalomania!"
Kejriwal dedicates this Independence Day to himself ..Dear Delhi plz welcome this pic.twitter.com/2RzdRBVHE5— Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) August 15, 2015