Echoing their party chief Arvind Kejriwal, several AAP leaders on Wednesday came out to demand that currency notes include photos of Lakshmi and Ganesh to bring “prosperity” to the country.
Hours after Kejriwal’s press conference, Greater Kailash AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted: “BJP has got so much hatred for Ma Lakshmi and Shri Ganesh that it is opposing putting their picture on Indian currency notes. This, even as no Muslim leader has opposed it so far. The Prime Minister should put the photos on currency notes as soon as possible.”
Kalkaji MLA Atishi, too, tweeted: “I want to say with folded hands in front of the BJP, do not oppose this proposal. This is not just Kejriwal ji’s proposal, but a proposal by all 130 crore countrymen. You hate Kejriwal ji, but why hate Lakshmi ji and Ganesh ji? Why hate the prosperity of the country?”
Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia also reiterated his comments on such pictures bringing “prosperity” to the country.
BJP’s Sambit Patra meanwhile lashed out at the AAP and the CM, tweeting: “Those who were threatening to put you in jail for celebrating Diwali, speaking against the Ram temple and insulting the Swastika Kashmiri Hindus and today singing songs of Ram-Ram and Lakshmi-Ganesha. This is the culmination of their U-turn politics.”
Congress’s Sandeep Dikshit told ANI: “Kejriwal is B-team of BJP and RSS. He doesn’t have any understanding. It is his vote bank politics. If he goes to Pakistan, he can also say that I am Pakistani, so vote for me.”
Kejriwal’s comments come ahead of elections in Gujarat, where the AAP is pushing to challenge the incumbent BJP.
It also comes weeks after the AAP’s Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam participated in a mega “conversion” event where about 10,000 Hindus embraced Buddhism. After this incident, the BJP had sharpened its attack on AAP and put banners and posters in Gujarat calling Kejriwal anti-Hindu.
Asked how he came up with this idea/thought, Kejriwal said these feelings come to his mind when he was doing Diwali puja at his house. “We are all seeing that our economy is not recovering. We all want India to become a developed country; for that lots of work needs to be done but all efforts will only be successful when there will be gods’ and goddesses’ grace on us. Today, I appeal to the central government that our currency has a picture of Gandhi ji on one side, it should be kept as it is, but on the other side, pictures of Lakshmi ji and Ganesh ji should be included,” he said.
The CM clarified that he was not asking to change the currency notes. “Every day new currency notes are printed. These pictures can be added then,” Kejriwal said.
He added: “Indonesia is a Muslim majority country and has only 2-3 percent Hindus, yet they have Ganesh ji’s photo on their currency… When Indonesia can do it, why can’t we?” he said.
He said he would write to the PM on the issue. Asked if people would label this as AAP’s strategy to lean towards Hindutva, Kejriwal said: “People will say anything. Bolne do jo bolna hai.”
Speaking about the upcoming MCD polls, Kejriwal said that he was confident that the people of Delhi would reject the BJP, and that the AAP is fully prepared. MCD elections are slated to take place in December.