AAP's Saurabh Bharadwaj to organise weekly 'Sunderkand' recital; BJP says AAP's attachment to Lord Hanuman 'political melodrama'

  • Greater Kailash AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said a recitation of 'Sunderkand', a chapter in Ramcharitmanas, will be held on the first Tuesday of every month in areas of his constituency.

  • Sunderkand is a chapter in the Ramcharitmanas written by poet Tulsidas. The chapter talks about Hanuman's visit to Lanka.

  • Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor hit out at the AAP, saying its attachment towards Lord Hanuman was not a matter of religious faith.

New Delhi: Greater Kailash AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said a recitation of 'Sunderkand', a chapter in Ramcharitmanas, will be held on the first Tuesday of every month in areas of his constituency to seek the blessings of Lord Hanuman, even as the BJP termed the move a "political melodrama".

Sunderkand is a chapter in the Ramcharitmanas written by poet Tulsidas. The chapter talks about Hanuman's visit to Lanka.

The ruling AAP was trolled by the BJP over Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal's frequent visits to Hanuman Temple during his election campaign. Kejriwal had also recited the 'Hanuman Chalisa' during a TV programme earlier this month.

Speaking to PTI on the issue, Bhardwaj said he has the freedom to practise his religion.

 AAPs Saurabh Bharadwaj to organise weekly Sunderkand recital; BJP says AAPs attachment to Lord Hanuman political melodrama

File image of AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj. YouTube

"I am a Hindu. Arvind Kejriwal is a Hindu. Nobody can deny this fact. I have religious freedom. If I am getting Sunderkand done, it does not make me less progressive. Being progressive does not mean you are an atheist," he said.

The AAP leader said he was "just following his faith" and have been doing it for long.

"Today there is no election so it should not be seen as a political thing. The controversy was started after the BJP questioned the chief minister's visit to Hanuman mandir, although the temple priest came on record to say he (Kejriwal) has been visiting the temple for years," he said.

"Is the BJP getting uncomfortable with the fact that there is someone else too who is a Hindu? My Hinduism is that I am a Hindu and I do not hate anybody else for following his or her religion and I believe I am a better Hindu. Let Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram decide who is a better Hindu," Bhardwaj added.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor hit out at the AAP, saying its attachment towards Lord Hanuman was not a matter of religious faith, but appears to be a "political melodrama".

"We expect that the Aam Aadmi Party which used to play politics in favour of a particular religious community will now work for all the religious communities of the society during the next five years," said another BJP spokesperson Ashok Goel Devraha.

Former Delhi government media advisor Nagendar Sharma also termed Bhardwaj's announcement as "disappointing".

"Disappointed to see a competent legislator with progressive outlook fall into the fallacious trap of trying to outdo BJP in its game," he tweeted.

Sharma, however, later deleted the tweet, saying it was leading to rumours and "unnecessary interpretations".

"My tweet was a suggestion in good faith to my very close friend @Saurabh_MLAgk, whom I consider as my younger brother, but since it was leading to rumours and unnecessary interpretation, I have deleted it," he said on Twitter.

Kejriwal's visits to the Hanuman Temple during the election campaign were criticised by many in the BJP with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying, "Now Arvind Kejriwal has started reciting the 'Hanuman Chalisa'. In coming days, you will see Owaisi reciting the same. This will certainly happen".

Delhi BJP unit president Manoj Tiwari had called Kejriwal a "nakli bhakt" (fake worshipper).

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2020 22:19:07 IST