NEW DELHI: Elections sometimes bring to the fore the best, worst or some unknown facets of some leaders personality. Just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being Lord Shiv bhakts came to be known in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2017 Gujarat assembly elections respectively, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwals bhakti for Lord Hanuman got highlighted in the run up to the upcoming Delhi polls.
In a TV programme on February 3, when told that his opponents alleged that he was anti-Hindu, Arvind Kejriwal said, “I am a kattar bhakt (hardcore disciple) of Lord Hanuman but they (the BJP leaders) allege that I am anti-Hindu.”
Asked whether he went to Hanuman temple, he said he visits one in his neighbourhood and the other in Connaught Place. He claimed that he knew Hanuman Chalisa by heart and added that it gave immense peace of mind.
However, he confessed that he could not sing it well. Before singing a few opening lines of the Hanuman Chalisa, he sought forgiveness from the audience if his recitation was not in proper tune. Subsequently, he sang the Hanuman Chalisa when requested during interviews on other TV news channels as well.
During the last Gujarat assembly election, Rahul Gandhi was seen hopping one temple after another in the state.
The Nehru-Gandhi scion, who took over as the Congress president in the midst of the Gujarat state poll, came to be known as a Shiv bhakt.
During a visit to the Somnath Temple, Rahul Gandhis name was mentioned as a non-Hindu in the register for visitors at the entry point.
As the BJP sought to target Rahul Gandhi, the Congress claimed that Rahul Gandhi was a 'janeu dhaari (wears sacred thread) Brahmin and also a Shiv bhakt.
BJP mocked Rahul Gandhi, calling him an "opportunist" and playing the 'soft Hindutva' card in Gujarat.
But Rahul Gandhis temple run did help Congress. The party won 18 of the 27 seats where Rahul visited the temples as part of his campaign.
In September 2018, Rahul Gandhi embarked onRead More – Source