Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal who turned 48 on Tuesday, paid homage to Pramukh Swami – former head of Bochasanwasi Aksharpurshotam Swaminarayan Sansthan (BAPS) Swaminarayan sect – at Sarangpur near Ahmedabad and described him as a ‘divine soul’.
“Pramukh Swami dedicated his entire life to work for the welfare of mankind. He spread the message of humanity across the globe and built temples in different parts of the world. He was a divine soul,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader told reporters.
Kejriwal’s visit came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the sect’s headquarters near Ahmedabad where he broke down saying he has “lost a father”.
Kejriwal said that though he had never met Pramukh Swami but his works inspired him a lot.
Ninety-five-year-old Pramukh Swami, who has been credited with the expansion of the sect across the globe, died on August 13. His body is lying in state since Sunday. Final rites will be performed on Wednesday.
It was Kejriwal’s second visit to Gujarat within a month. On July 22, he had gone to meet the Dalit victims of the Una flogging incident.
The AAP plans to contest all 182 assembly seats when the state goes to polls in December 2017.
Kejriwal had a long list of dignitaries wishing him on his birthday including Prime Minister Modi with whom he shares a frosty relationship.
“Birthday greetings to Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal. I pray for his long life and good health,” Modi tweeted. But, Modi’s tweet was not retweeted either by Kejriwal or his party leaders.
The Delhi CM took to Twitter to thank the Prime Minister along with the others who wished him.
Before leaving for Gujarat, Kejriwal celebrated his birthday with family members by cutting a cake.