‘I visit Ram temple because I am a Hindu’: Arvind Kejriwal on allegations of peddling ‘soft Hindutva’
“There is nothing wrong with visiting temples... I am a Hindu, I visit Ram temple, Hanuman temple.. why would anyone have a problem with it?" said Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters on Sunday that he visits temples because he’s a Hindu. Kejriwal was responding to allegations of indulging in “soft Hindutva” before assembly elections commenced in five states.
“Do you not go to temple? There is nothing wrong with visiting temples... I am a Hindu, I visit Ram temple, Hanuman temple.. why would anyone have a problem with it?...Why are they accusing me? Let people say,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener told reporters in Panaji.
AAP, which is looking to make in-roads in Uttar Pradesh in next year’s assembly elections, announced a tiranga yatra in Ayodhya last month, in a bid to woo upper caste voters. The party had failed to make any headway in UP in the previous assembly election and lost their deposit in 76 of the 77 seats it contested.
The yatra was launched by Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and AAP’s UP in-charge Sanjay Singh. Both of them also visited the Ram Janmabhoomi and Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya.
Kejriwal, who is on a tour of poll-bound Goa, became the first Delhi chief minister to visit the head office of the Gomantak Bhandari Samaj in Panaji on Sunday.
"Goa is the land of Lord Parashurama. On this land, the Gomantak Bhandari Samaj was established in the city of Panaji in 1962. Delhi CM Kejriwal has come to meet the people of the Bhandari community. It is a matter of pride for us. This is the first time that the Chief Minister of Delhi has come to meet the people of the Gomantak Bhandari community," Ashok Naik, the Gomantak Bhandari Samaj president, told news agency ANI.
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant hit out at Kejriwal over the latter’s pilgrimage scheme, claiming that the Delhi-based party was copying his government’s policies. Kejriwal in turn accused Sawant of copying him.
Alleging that Pramod Sawant is copying AAP, he said, "When I said we will give electricity free, he gave water free. When I said we will provide employment allowance, he announced about 10,000 jobs, and when I spoke about pilgrimages, he announced his scheme.”
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