A senior cabinet colleague of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has resigned from the government over a religious conversion controversy. Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam’s resignation came after the BJP accused the Aam Aadmi Party of disrespecting Hindu gods during a recent religious conversion ceremony.
Sharing his resignation letter on Twitter, Gautam wrote in Hindi, “Today is the manifestation day of Maharishi Valmiki ji and on the other hand it is also the death anniversary of Manyavar Kanshi Ram Saheb. In such a coincidence, today I have been freed from many shackles and today I have been born again. Now I will continue to fight for rights and atrocities on the society more firmly without any restrictions.”
A huge controversy had erupted after Gautam was seen attending a religious conversion ceremony where the attndees took oath to never follow Hindu gods. The BJP had used the video to brand Kejriwal and his party as anti-Hindu ahead of Gujarat polls.
आज महर्षि वाल्मीकि जी का प्रकटोत्सव दिवस है एवं दूसरी ओर मान्यवर कांशीराम साहेब की पुण्यतिथि भी है। ऐसे संयोग में आज मैं कई बंधनों से मुक्त हुआ और आज मेरा नया जन्म हुआ है। अब मैं और अधिक मज़बूती से समाज पर होने वाले अत्याचारों व अधिकारों की लड़ाई को बिना किसी बंधन के जारी रखूँगा pic.twitter.com/buwnHYVgG8
— Rajendra Pal Gautam (@AdvRajendraPal) October 9, 2022
Facing the heat and fearing electoral consequences in Gujarat, Kejriwal was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram repeatedly to prove his Hindu credentials. Gujarat is a BJP bastion and Kejriwal is claiming to emerge as an alternative to the BJP in his bid to win the next assembly polls.
A visibly nervous Kejriwal said on Saturday that he was a Hanuman bhakt and branded his BJP rivals as descendants of ‘Kans.’