Ahead of the Delhi assembly election, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that he is an 'ardent' follower of Lord Hanuman, following a political row over his recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa. Kejriwal also mentioned that the BJP considers him as an anti-Hindu but he has himself arranged pilgrimages for many senior citizens in Delhi.
Speaking to the media Kejriwal said, "BJP says I am anti-Hindu. I arrange a pilgrimage for senior Delhites. From where am I anti-Hindu? I am a true Hanuman devotee. I was asked if I know Hanuman Chalisa, I said yes and I recited it. Now BJP has a problem with that too.."
The incident in question took place when the Delhi Chief Minister was probed on his faith in Lord Hanuman. Kejriwal revealed that he regularly visited the Hanuman temple in his neighbourhood. When the anchor challenged him to recite the Hanuman Chalisa, Kejriwal agreed to do so. Mentioning that reciting the Hanuman Chalisa renders a lot of peace, he taunted the anchor to keep a separate programme so that he could recite it in full. Posting the video of this incident, a member of the AAP’s National Social Media Team commented that Kejriwal had dismissed the journalist’s attempt to corner him.
Later, Kejriwal was taken on by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, who also further communalised matters by asking whether Asaduddin Owaisi would be the next to recite the Hanuman Chalisa.
The Election Commission of India announced that Delhi will go to polls on February 8. The counting of votes will be held on February 11. In the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, AAP won a whopping 67 out of 70 seats as against BJP that could win only from three constituencies. While Kejriwal is the CM face of the AAP, neither BJP nor Congress has named its Chief Ministerial candidate.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that AAP has resorted to appealing to voters on religious lines. In its election manifesto released on Tuesday, the ruling party promised many initiatives such as Jan Lokpal Bill, doorstep delivery of ration and world-class roads. Moreover, it has promised to take 10 lakh, senior citizens, for Teerth Yatra (religious pilgrimage) for the next 5 years.